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1986 The mI age of Walking in Hawthorne's (Journey Motif, Pilgrimage). Frances Murphy Zauhar Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

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University Microfilms International

The Image of Walking in Hawthorne's Fiction

A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in The Department of English

by Frances Murphy Zauhar B.A., Seton Hill College, 1976 M.A., Louisiana State University, 1979 August 1986 © 1 98 7


All Rights Reserved Acknowledgements

As do most writers, I have incurred many debts in

completing this work. The largest portion of my thanks

goes to my three readers. Daniel Mark Fogel carefully edited and improved my style. John May spent time that he did not have reading and revising; he also suggested ways of writing about that helped me greatly. Most of all, I want to thank Lewis P. Simpson, my director, whose quiet, gracious encouragement (as well as his practical advice) both challenged me and enabled me to

finish my work. All three men have inspired me by their example, their good humor, and their help.

I also want to thank Kackie Paine, Coordinator of

Arts and Sciences Computer Services at Louisiana State

University, and Steve Gant, the College Programmer, who helped me learn how to use the word processor that made revising and editing my work so much easier. Their presence and their company made the A & S Computer Center a pleasant place in which to work.

I likewise owe several personal debts as a result of my project. Of course, I thank my parents, who encouraged me to continue my education— in spite of the job market— and my husband, David, who has made my last year of graduate school the best by far. My thanks also go to

Rebecca Crump, Anna Nardo, and Joesphine Roberts for their guidance and help while I was at LSU. Finally and

ii especially, I thank Jim and Smittie Bolner, who have been my family in Louisiana, supporting me and encouraging me as only family can. The experience of community they gave me was absolutely necessary for the writing of this essay. Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ...... ii

Table of C o n t e n t s ...... iv

Abstract ...... v

Introduction ...... 1

Chapter I The Motif of the Journey and Hawthorne's Reading . . . 23

Chapter II ...... 56

Chapter III Walking in Hawthorne's First-Person .... 78

Chapter IV Walking in Hawthorne's Third-Person Narratives . . . 145

Chapter V The Image of Walking in Hawthorne's Romances.... 198

Bibliography...... 277

Vita 298 Abstract

Various scholars have referred to the metaphorical journey in Hawthorne's work. This is the first comprehensive study of the journey image in Hawthorne's fiction. Inquiring into the relationship between the in Hawthorne's short stories and his longer fiction, the study examines the sources of Hawthorne's fascination with the journey motif.

Hawthorne uses the journey in his first published work, Fanshawe. Both contrived and derivative of his reading of travel literature and fiction, especially The

Pilgrim's Progress, Fanshawe exhibits all facets of the journey-related imagery that Hawthorne employs in his later fiction.

Hawthorne wrote his short stories after he wrote

Fanshawe and before he wrote his second romance, The

Scarlet Letter, so a discussion of the journey imagery in the short fiction is significant to discussing its use in the romances. In the first-person stories, in particular,

Hawthorne develops the narrators' point of view. These early narrators— intrusive, prescriptive moralizers— step aside from the "journey" of life to explain how to interpret the story. In the later stories, the more subtle narrator relates his own experiences without moralizing, sharing the path with his fellow travelers.

This transformation leads to Hawthorne's development of the reflective, limited viewpoint taken by the narrators of the romances, who see life as a journey and the characters as travelers stepping onto or away from the road of life; they allow the reader to work out the , rather than explicitly announcing it.

In the third-person stories, Hawthorne's interests lie in the areas of and imagery. The undeveloped, symbolical, isolated characters in

Hawthorne's early stories are replaced by the multi­ faceted, realistic characters who interact with a community in the later stories. The journeys in the early stories, set in exotic, foreign, or fantastic places, are exchanged for the more commonplace settings of the village street or workplace. In the romances Hawthorne develops several characters who must decide whether or not to involve themselves with the community's "journey," symbolized by their relationship to the "path" of life.

Likewise, the moral development of each central figure is characterized by the choice he makes to walk on or off the common path. Introduction

We are all travelers through life. It is in no way

surprising that the journey has long been a popular and

successful device in fiction, or that the wandering

fictional hero holds a peculiar and influential position

in our literature. We read the stories of Don Quixote and

other knights errant (as Quixote did himself), never

tiring of their adventures; we devote ourselves to the adventures of their descendants as embodied in the

time-traveling, space-warping characters of popular

fiction and film. We are still fascinated by wandering seekers of truth. Moses, Dante, Ahab, Marlow— all elicit a responsive chord in our hearts and minds. We try to understand their predicaments and sympathize with their situations, recognizing their stories to be our own.

Of the numerous modes of travel depicted in literature, none has been more common than the most basic , walking. In this study, I propose to examine the of walking as a in the fiction of Nathaniel

Hawthorne. The walking traveler seems to have captured

Hawthorne's imagination; he returned continually to this image to portray the human condition in his fiction. When we examine the image of the walking journey in the fiction

Hawthorne published between 1830 and 1852, what do we discover about its use? In particular, I think, we see how he employed a who walks from one place to another (or, analogously, from one situation to another) as a metaphor for an appropriate response to life.

There is a considerable body of scholarship

recognizing the significance of the journey motif in

Hawthorne. Only a few students of Hawthorne have passed over its thematic importance. Newton Arvin says that

Hawthorne's major themes are limited to "the ubiquity of

secret guilt, the fatal connection between isolation and evil, the flagrancy therefore of spiritual pride."'*' Jenny

Jones lists Hawthorne's themes as "sin, isolation, 2 supernaturalism, and the elixir of life." Richard P.

Adams notes that the common of Hawthorne's

"Provincial Tales"— "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," "Young

Goodman Brown," "The Gentle Boy," "," and "Roger Malvin's Burial"— is "the transition from childishness or adolescence to maturity," but fails to 3 discuss how the journeys embody this transition. Several writers who do acknowledge the journey motif in Hawthorne do so in only a cursory way. Edgar Dryden, for instance, in his dissection of Hawthorne's work into the two themes

1 Newton Arvm, Hawthorne (New York: Russell and Russell, 1929), p. 13T!

2 Jenny Jones, "Recurrent Themes in Hawthorne," unpublished Master's thesis (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University, 1939), p. i.

3 Richard P. Adams, "Hawthorne's Provincial Tales," New England Quarterly 30 (1957), 39-57. of enchantment and disenchantment, acknowledges the "theme

of love and wandering" as a variant of what he calls 4 Hawthorne's basic pattern. Likewise, Louis D. Rubin,

Jr., acknowledges Hawthorne as a descendent of Cervantes

in an article concerned with describing the author of Don

Quixote as a primary source of this sub-genre of prose

fiction: "the explorative journey of the private,

subjective, conscious self into the public objective

external otherness of the world and society. . . . In

Cervantes' , first published at the beginning of the

seventeenth century, we have the example, however underplayed, of a man escaping from a version of reality

that is not to his liking and going forth, as an outsider

in society, in search of another version, that perhaps can be." 5

Most scholarship that studies the journey in

Hawthorne examines only one story and, therefore, does not

try to look for a repeated pattern. , typical of these, first discusses the "Night Sketches" as "the light, familiar record of a walk underneath an umbrella, at the end of a long, dull, rainy day, through the sloppy,

^ Edgar A. Dryden, : The Poetics of Enchantment (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), j k IT.

** Louis D. Rubin, "Don Quixote and Selected Progeny: Or, the Journey-man as Outsider," The Southern Review 10 (1974), 31-58. ill-paved streets of a country town, where the rare gas

lamps twinkle in the large puddles, and the blue jars in

the druggist's window shine through the vulgar drizzle,"

but James never notices the process of transformation that

takes place, never recognizes the care-worn traveler's

inclination to return to his hearth refreshed, renewed,

and ready to resume his place among other men.^ Then,

too, there is Seymour Gross, whose essay on "My Kinsman,

Major Molineux" discusses Robin's journey as a movement

from "primal innocence" to "the dark night of the soul";

William A. Tremblay, who, in his discussion of the

contrasted themes in "The Gentle Boy" of the hearth and

the road, observes that Catharine's choice to follow the

"inward movement of the spirit" prevents the creation of

the "stable home that would have insured the nurture of

Ilbrahim's gentle life"; Agnes Donahue, who observes the

circular structure of "Roger Malvin's Burial"; and

Carlandra Green, who states that the conventions of the

journey in "The Custom House" are less important than "the ethical necessity for the traveler to learn who he is ,and 7 what his life is." Green's statement holds true not only

® Henry James, Hawthorne (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879), pp. 31-32.

7 Seymour Gross, "Hawthorne's 'My Kinsman, Major Molineux': History as Moral Adventure," Nineteenth Century Fiction 22 (1957), 107; William A. Tremblay, "A Reading of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Gentle Boy,'" Massachusetts Studies in English 2 (1970), 83; Agnes for the narrator of "The Custom House" but also for most

of Hawthorne's travelers. While these discussions of

individual works are helpful, their focus on just one

story limits their usefulness in suggesting evidence of a

common pattern. Further, scholars have limited their

discussion of Hawthorne's journey stories to comparatively

few: "Alice Doane's Appeal" and "The Celestial Railroad"

among the first-person narratives; "My Kinsman, Major

Molineux," "Roger Malvin's Burial," "The Gentle Boy,"

"," and "" among the third

person narratives. is by far the most g frequently analyzed of the novels or romances.

McNeill Donahue, "From Whose Bourne No Traveler Returns: A Reading of ’Roger Malvin's Burial,'" Nineteenth Century Fiction 18 (1963), 6; Carlandra Green, "’The Custom House': Hawthorne's Dark Wood of Error," New England Quarterly 53 (1980), 184.

g In American Renaissance (New York: Oxford University Press, 1941), F.O. Matthiessen comments at great length on the number of pages in Hawthorne's notebooks devoted to his walks through the countryside and the influence these walks seem to have had on the framing device Hawthorne sketched out for his first two proposed collections of short stories, "The Provincial Tales" and "The Story-teller." Hawthorne intended to attribute the stories in these collections to an itinerant storyteller. Matthiessen fails to notice, however, how these stories use the device of walking, so that the process of revelation in them corresponds closely to the process of discovery a traveler undergoes as he takes a walk. Later on, Matthiessen says of that Hawthorne had "again established a world of solid moral values . . . based on a conception of man as being radically imperfect, destined to struggle through a labyrinth of error, and to suffer harsh and cruel shocks." But Matthiessen never comments on Hawthorne's use of actual pathways and labyrinths as the of Miriam's sin and Hilda's Roy Male is perhaps the first critic to treat the journey in Hawthorne as a significant pattern. His analysis— more Freudian than the one I would argue for— sees the journey as always symbolizing "the search for a g parent." Richard Adams discusses the importance of all of the works of the "Old Manse" period, from 1831 to 1839, when Hawthorne developed, among other important symbols, the symbols of "wandering," which represent for Adams

"the efforts of the artist to find his inspiration or its basic contents, or the efforts anyone must make to find himself or to come to real knowledge of himself." He concludes that "the most important development of the Old

Manse period was that of Hawthorne's ability to use all discovery of evil. Likewise, Lawrence Hall mentions the characters in many of Hawthorne's stories— "the weary little knot of travelers on their way to Canterbury village, the regenerate Donatello, frail figures like Peter Goldthwaite, old Esther Dudley, saddened Hester, the thwarted Zenobia, the cynical Holgrave and Coverdale"— as part of the "throng of human beings who tragically or pathetically or criminally are out of step with the world in which they live" [Hawthorne, Critic of Society (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1944), p. 3], but he does not go on to notice the prevalence of that walking motif irl the stories about their lives. In The American Adam Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955), R. W. B. Lewis makes much of the contrasted settings of forest and village in Hawthorne, the conflicting interests of individual and society, but nothing of the necessary movement, the walk to get from one place to another, or of the difference between an individual quest or exile and the communal pilgrimage, which are equally important parts of the and setting in Hawthorne.

g Roy R. Male, Hawthorne's Tragic Vision (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1956), pp. 10-76. these classes of imagery in combination with a structural principle that brought his whole force and talent into

productive . This essentially technical development made it possible for him to write, at that time and

increasingly later on, longer and more complicated

stories, without diluting the high quality of the best of 10 his early work." Adams, however, considers journey

imagery as only one among several devices that Hawthorne developed at this time. He does not explore the problem of how the journey imagery develops beyond period.

Hugo McPherson discusses Hawthorne's use of the of the quest in A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales but is not interested in the use of the quest or other types of 11 journeys in Hawthorne's adult fiction. Edward M.

Holmes, in his discussion of Hawthorne and , points out that while in the works of many authors of the

romantic period "a man passes from a condition of trust in the universe through a period of despair . . . to . . . an awareness of his harmonious place in an organized cosmos .

. . we do not find this completed journey in Hawthorne, .

Richard P. Adams, "Hawthorne: The Old Manse Period," Tulane Studies in English 8 (1958), 119-124.

11 Hugo McPherson, "Hawthorne's Myth," University of Toronto Quarterly 28 (1959), 267-68. 12 . . but we do find journeys of a kind." The journey

Holmes implies is not found in Hawthorne primarily because

Hawthorne does not intend that his travelers always find a

"harmonious place" in the world and because their journeys

are of a very different kind.

Daniel Hoffman observes that the hero of "American

folktale, , and Romance is likely to go on a journey 13 of self-discovery." More specifically, he says that

many of Hawthorne's stories, including "My Kinsman, Major

Molineux" and "Young Goodman Brown," follow this pattern.

Yet Hoffman's discussion is limited to the major stories,

and he does not discuss the relationship these have to the

development of Hawthorne's romances. Leo Marx includes

Hawthorne in his discussion of the "design of classic

American " which he says involves a "journey away 14 from society." But he too discusses Hawthorne only

briefly and primarily in relation to other authors. Edwin

Fussell's interest in Hawthorne's use of the journey is

related to its connection with the western frontier story

and not to Hawthorne's development as an artist.

12 Edward M. Holmes, "Hawthorne and Romanticism," New England Quarterly 33 (1960), 478.

13 Daniel G. Hoffman, Form and in American Fiction (1961), p. xiv.

14 Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 69~. Discussing "The Seven Vagabonds," "My Visit to Niagara,"

"Old News," "Sketches from Memory," "," and "Young Goodman Brown," Fussell is more interested in the frontier as destination than in the actual journey through the wilderness. Even his analysis of The Scarlet

Letter focuses more on the settings of the forest and the seashore than the significance of Hester's movements 15 through these places. Ironically, Donald Ringe observes that, although each of Hawthorne's major tales has garnered a "substantial body of good critical comment, scholars have all too frequently treated the stories in isolation, devoting an article or a chapter to the close examination of a single tale, but paying relatively little attention to those elements which some of the stories have 16 in common." He then proceeds to discuss the relationship among three of the much-discussed stories,

"My Kinsman, Major Molineux," "Young Goodman Brown," and

"Ethan Brand," pointing to their similarities in structure, imagery, meaning and the journey of the protagonist— similarities which, I would argue, they share with at least a dozen other stories. Robert Fossom also discusses the journey theme, looking at quite a few of the

15 Edwin Fussell, Frontier, , and the American West (Princetons Princeton University Press, 1965), pp. 71-109.

16 Donald A. Ringe, "Hawthorne's Night Journeys," American Transcendentalist Quarterly 10 (1971), 27. 10

stories and at least one of the romances in order to argue

that Hawthorne's travelers always journey toward a

confrontation with the past, but he ignores the

relationship that the imagery of the journey in the

romances has to that in the tales and sketches.

Furthermore, he excludes any consideration of the stories 17 that might be regarded as sketches rather than tales.

Daniel Marder is concerned with the stories that can be interpreted as of the journey into self. He

focuses on several first-person narrator stories—

including "Sights from a Steeple" and "Howe's Masquerade"-

-and their relationship to ,

Hawthorne's only long work written in the first person.

Although he acknowledges that the motif of the "journey into exile" in Hawthorne first appears in "the artificial

Fanshawe" (1828), Marder does not illustrate the

relationship among the characters and their journeys in

Fanshawe, the tales and sketches, and the later

17 Robert H. Fossum, Hawthorne's Inviolable Circle: The Problem of Time (DelanH^ FL: 1972) . Fossum is not the only writer who distinguishes between the essay-like sketches that Hawthorne wrote and the obviously fictional short stories; Harry Levin and Neal Doubleday also exclude the sketches from any consideration of the in the stories. To do so, however, forces one to miss an important connection between stylistic and thematic developments in Hawthorne's early work that profoundly affect his romances. 11 18 romances. Joseph Adams is primarily concerned with the anthropological aspects of the journey, especially the night-journey tale, and the relationship of "My Kinsman,

Major Molineux" to that . Hawthorne's tale certainly does fit the pattern of the night journey, as do other stories that Adams mentions like "Wakefield" and

"Night Sketches." But Adams falters in his unsubstantiated allegation that Hawthorne had discovered the pattern in "the peculiar ritual practices of the exotic civilizations he read about," that he recognized these as rites of passage, and consciously wrote "My 19 Kinsman, Major Molineux" in emulation of them. While

Adams notices a significant thematic connection among several important stories, he anticipates the interests of a later generation in ascribing an anthropological motive to Hawthorne's work.

William Spengemann considers thematic or structural affinities between Hawthorne's work and that of his contemporaries, discussing a diametrically opposed tension between what he calls "the poetics of adventure" and "the poetics of domesticity" (which may be related to Edgar

Dryden's poetics of "disenchantment" and "enchantment,"

18 Daniel Marder, "Exiles at Home in American Literature," Mosaic 8, iii (1975), 62-68.

19 Joseph D. Adams, "The Societal Initiation and Hawthorne's ’My Kinsman Major Molineux': The Night Journey Motif," English Studies Colloquium 1 (1976), 2. 20 respectively). Spengemann notes that the "fictive

explorations of Hawthorne, Melville, and all

begin not so much in a repudiation of the domestic ideal

itself as in the assumption that our eternal home lies

down a historical path which we make and which makes us as 21 we travel it." Hawthorne in particular, he observes, was "drawn with equal force to both of these antagonistic visions." They "precipitate the action of all those works— from Fanshawe through the tales and novels, to the

late, unfinished romances— in which some deviant must decide whether to abandon his private obsessions and

join the human community or to forego domestic 22 and follow his self-isolating dream." Spengemann's discussion culminates in an explication of "Roger Malvin's

Burial." Yet, while his chapter on Hawthorne implies that Spengemann sees the journey operating as an important pattern in Hawthorne's work, he says nothing of its development from Fanshawe through the stories to the later

20 William Spengemann, The Adventurous Muse: The Poetics of American Fiction, 1789-1900 (New Haven; Yale University Press, 1977), p. 3~[

21 Spengemann, p. 117.

22 Spengemann, pp. 151-152. 13 23 romances.

Janis Stout discusses Hawthorne in relation to other

American writers, but her concern is primarily with

Hawthorne's consideration of the American journey to

Europe in the unfinished romances, "The Ancestral

Footstep," "The Dolliver Romance," and "Doctor Grimshaw's

Secret," and with his exploration of the night journey

motif in "Young Goodman Brown" and "My Kinsman, Major

Molineux". She is not interested in the persistence of

these and other types of journeys in all of the fiction.

And like so many other writers, Stout is more concerned

with the appeal of the destination than in the process of 24 the journey.

Largely independent of, but certainly related to

scholarship on the journey in Hawthorne are the many

discussions about possible sources for this theme,

although these mostly look at one story only. Randall

Stewart, for example, discusses only The Scarlet Letter

23 Lea B.Z. Newman's Readers' Guide to the Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1979) indicates, by its very title, that Newman does not consider the development of the journey theme in the stories to its use in the longer romances. This extensive analytic bibliography is, however, the first to tie together, in their common use of the journey in some form, more than just the four or five stories that are generally linked through this theme.

24 . Janis P. Stout, The Journey Narrative in American Literature: Patterns and Departures (Greenwood Press, 1983), pp. 74, 92-93. 14 25 and parallel symbolism found in The Faerie Queene.

Arthur Broes examines Robin Molineux's affinities to the 26 pilgrim Christian in Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.

Georg Roppen and Richard Sommer examine "Ethan Brand,"

observing that this story, like Bunyan's, emphasizes the

destination rather than the journey. Knowledge, they say,

is treated in The Pilgrim's Progress as "definitely

subordinate to the end of renewing the soul in salvation, not, as Bunyan's contemporary, Milton [sic], would have 27 insisted, part of salvation itself." They imply that

this is also true of Hawthorne. But one may raise the

objection that Hawthorne, like Milton, sees the journey

itself as the process of achieving knowledge and acquiring virtue.

Seymour Katz finds sources for The Scarlet Letter in both Spenser and Bunyan, adding that Hawthorne's

characters are "more nearly like the persons of realistic

fiction than they are like the personifications of

25 Randall Stewart, American Literature and Christian Doctrine (Baton Rouqe: Louisiana State University Press, 1958), p. 45.

2 6 Arthur T. Broes, "Journey into Moral Darkness: ’My Kinsman, Major Molineux' as ," Nineteenth Century Fiction 19 (1964), 173.

27 Georg Roppen and Richard Sommer, Strangers and Pilgrims: An Essay on the Metaphor of Journey (New York: Norwegian Universities Press, 1964), p. 41T 15 28 allegory." Katz is not interested in exploring the

reasons for this, although his observation is important

for my own thesis, since I maintain that Hawthorne's

ability to develop characters out of allegorical

personifications came only after the many years he spent

writing stories rooted in allegory. Joseph Pattison is

among those who discuss the relationship of "The Celestial

Railroad" to The Pilgrim's Progress. He relates the dream

frame of "The Celestial Railroad" to that in other stories

as well.2^

Claude Simpson is among the many writers who observe

sources for Hawthorne's work from his own experiences.

Simpson notes that in The Marble Faun, "the moonlight walk

[at the center of the story] moves to its on the

Tarpeian Rock, and here Hawthorne drew upon a journal

passage for May 22, 1858, written after visiting the 30 parapet with the Swedish author Fredrika Bremer." He

also points out that most of the factual detail of The

Marble Faun and even some of its can be attributed to

28 Seymour Katz, "'Character,' 'Nature,' and Allegory in The Scarlet Letter," Nineteenth Century Fiction 23 (1 9 M J " , 3-4.

29 Joseph C. Pattison, "'The Celestial Rail-road' as Dream Tale," American Quarterly 20 (1968), 224.

Claude M. Simpson, "Introduction to The Marble Faun," The Centenary Edition of the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Volume IV (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1968), p. xxxvi. 16

Hawthorne's preliminary "journalizing" in his Italian 31 notebooks. likewise points to

Hawthorne's own habit of walking as a source for passages in many stories and in The Scarlet Letter, but he does not seem interested in the effect of using the walk to develop a character as much as the amount of scenic description 32 that comes from the notebooks. Roberta Weldon relates

"Footprints on the Seashore" to the non-fictional travel narrative, which "at its best will . . . use the metaphor 33 of travel to provide the shape of an internal journey."

In Hawthorne's sketch, she says, "The walk comes to objectify the quest for self-awareness and for some knowledge of life's meaning.I would further argue that the walk performs this function in most if not all of its appearances in Hawthorne's fiction.

Austin Warren writes in a general way about the influence of Hawthorne's reading upon his writing,

31 0. Simpson, pp. xxxv-xxxvi.

32 Malcolm Cowley, "Introduction" to The Portable Hawthorne (New York: Viking Press, 1948), pp. 2-3'.

33 Roberta F. Weldon, "Hawthorne's ’Footprints on the Seashore" and the Literature of Walking," in American Exploration and Travel, edited by Steven Kagle (Bowling Green: Ohio University Press, 1979), p. 127.

34 Weldon, p. 131. 35 emphasizing the influence of The Pilgrim's Progress.

Julian Hawthorne, also discussing Nathaniel Hawthorne's reading, in a highly allusive but deliberately vague essay points to many stories that were influenced by The

Pilgrims' Progress, but does not discuss in what ways. He makes observations only of this sort: "Fanshawe was O £ obviously inspired by Scott." Randall Stewart points to

Byron as a negative influence on Hawthorne's development of the isolated individual, but he does not examine how or if Byron's narratives involving journeys specifically 37 influence Hawthorne's. Marion Kesselring's catalog of

Hawthorne's reading alludes to Hawthorne's interest in travel books, but includes no analysis of how that 3 8 interest influences Hawthorne's work. W. Stacy Johnson mentions many stories that "allude" to Bunyan, including

"The Hall of ," "The Virtuoso's Collection," "The

Lily's Quest," "Egotism," "The Mind," The Scarlet

Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, and The Blithedale

35 Austin Warren, "Hawthorne's Reading," New England Quarterly 8 (1935), 480-497.

Julian Hawthorne, Hawthorne Reading (Cleveland: The Rowfant Club, 1902), p~ 94.

37 Randall Stewart, Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Biography (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948) , p. 253.

3 8 Marion L. Kesselring, Hawthorne's Reading, 1828- 1850 (New York: The New York Public Library, 1949), p. 9. Romance, but he fails to see how the journey in The

Pilgrim's Progress is also reflected in many of these works, as he sees the journeys in "The Great Carbuncle" 39 and "" are.

Harry Levin likewise discusses several stories, but

in a general way in relation to their sources in The

Pilgrim's Progress. He observes its influence, in particular, on Hawthorne's use of the devices of the dream, the protagonist who is another self, and the pilgrimage and its goal, a celestial home. He further notices that "the viewpoint of Hawthorne's sketches is that of the onlooker reacting to whatever may come along, however trivial. . . . It is quite characteristic that, in 'David Swan: A Fantasy,' the youth of the title does not actually adventure upon [the road]; he lies asleep at 40 a crossroads." Levin makes no reference to the many stories in which Hawthorne's characters do venture upon the road.

David Smith provides the most complete treatment of

Hawthorne's use of The Pilgrim's Progress in his work John

Bunyan in America; his work, however, is limited to discussions of Fanshawe, "The Celestial Railroad," The

39 W. Stacy Johnson, "Hawthorne and The Pilgrim's Progress," Journal of English and Germanic Philology 50 (1951), 151-161.

40 Harry Levin, The Power of Blackness (New York: 1958), pp. 45, 48. Scarlet Letter, and The Blithedale Romance.41 While he is

perhaps the first critic to acknowledge that Hawthorne

uses The Pilgrim's Progress in both the stories and the

romances, he does not consider Hawthorne's development of

the imagery and theme of the journey over the course of

his career, although he suggests that, "as in the later

stories, the wilderness figures importantly in Fanshawe

both as setting and as a symbolical device to be 42 manipulated."

Neal Doubleday limits his study to the early tales, which he finds were influenced by Hawthorne's own habit of walking and by his reading of The Pilgrim's Progress. ^

He distinguishes Hawthorne's use of allegory from

Bunyan's, however, when he notes that, in much of the work

that Hawthorne called allegory, "there is no figure that 44 represents an abstract quality." J. Donald Crowley

recognizes Washington Irving's influence in many of the

story's collected in The Twice-told Tales, especially in

Hawthorne's initial desire to have them collected within

41 David Smith, John Bunyan in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 196b); see especially the chapter entitled "Bunyan and Hawthorne," pp. 49-89.

42 Smith, p. 50.

43 Neal Frank Doubleday, Hawthorne's Early Tales: A Critical Study (Durham: Duke University Press, 1972).

44 Doubleday, p. 66. 20 4 5 the framework of the itinerant storyteller.

Frank Kermode observes the influence of allegory in general on Hawthorne's work while at the same time noticing that Hawthorne played fast and loose with the allegorical method. Strictly speaking, Kermode says, a type is "distinguished from a symbol or allegory in that it is constituted by an historical event or person . . . A type can therefore be identified only when fulfilled by its antitype, a later event in a providentially- structured history. . . . Hawthorne, who uses the word frequently, certainly uses it loosely, and on occasion allows it to run into the senses of others, such as

'allegory' and 'emblem.'"^

In general, the scholarship on the theme of the journey in Hawthorne and/or its sources has not considered

Hawthorne's persistent use of the journey from the beginning to the end of his career, nor has it considered the reappearance of several types of travelers and/or journeys as a process of refinement in his work. It is my contention that the theme of the journey, which so interested Hawthorne that he read and studied it intently, is first apparent in his earliest published work, the

45 J. Donald Crowley, "Introduction to The Twice-told Tales, The Centenary Edition, Volume IX, p. 492.

46 Frank Kermode, "Hawthorne's Modernity," Partisan Review 41 (1974), p. 428. Fanshawe, where its use was undeveloped and unsatisfactory to its young writer. He learned to use the

conventions in the intervening twenty years in his short

fiction and, finally, was able to use it successfully in longer works as well, as his achievement in The Scarlet

Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale

Romance, and The Marble Faun will attest. To my knowledge, no one has made such a study of Hawthorne's work thus far.

In the first chapter of the study that follows, I explain the significance of the imagery Hawthorne used to describe the walking journey. First, I discuss

Hawthorne's own interest in walking per se, then his interest in the literature of walking that was available to him. In the second chapter, I consider the importance of the journey motif in Fanshawe, Hawthorne's first published work, especially with respect to its relation to

Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. In the third chapter, I treat Hawthorne's short stories that are told by a first-person narrator, giving some indication of his development of perceptive subtletly. The fourth chapter of my study describes Hawthorne's employment of a third-person narrator in the sketches and tales that relate journeys. In the fifth chapter, I will comment on how the images and characters that fail so miserably in

Fanshawe work in The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun. Chapter I: The Motif of the Journey and Hawthorne's Reading

Hawthorne uses the walking journey as a significant action in nearly half of the tales and sketches he wrote between 1825 and 1850. To speak precisely, forty-two of

the ninety stories he wrote during this period involve characters whose walks from one place to another are of a quest for moral truth. The prominence of the journey in these stories varies, but in all of the stories whose journeys I will consider, walking transcends its significance as a mere mode of travel and becomes symbolic of a central reality of human existence. The walking journey plays an equally significant role in all of the longer works that Hawthorne wrote, from Fanshawe to the uncompleted romances, "The American Claimant" and "The

Elixir of Life."*

Both in the shorter and the longer fiction of

Hawthorne, the walks taken by the central characters are sources of knowledge about themselves and the world around them. This was so in the case of Hawthorne himself. His notebooks are full of passages recording observations made during his walks around Salem, Concord, and Boston; these often take a philosophical bent, as in a passage written

i These manuscripts, in other than The Centenary Edition, are often referred to as "The Ancestral Footstep," "The Dolliver Romance," and "Doctor Grimshaw's Secret."

23 in 1837:

Then to cast your eye over so many different

establishments at once,and rapidly compare them

among themselves— here a house of gentility with

shady old yellow-leaved elms, hanging around it;

there a new little white dwelling; there an old

farm-house;— to see the barns and sheds, and all

the outhouses, clustered together;— to

comprehend the oneness, and exclusiveness, and

what constitutes the peculiarity, of each of so

many establishments,— and to have in your mind a

multitude of such establishments, each of which

is the most important part of the world to those

who live there— this really enlarges the mind,

and you come down the hill somewhat wiser than 2 you go up.

A simple walk up and down a rural hillside— during which he observes homes and farms— becomes for Hawthorne an emblem of the unified variety of life.

Another walk beneath a sunset leads Hawthorne to see the sky as symbolic of the spiritual potentiality of the

"human breast."

All the sky, too, and the rich clouds of sunset,

2 Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Lost Notebooks, 1835-1841. Transcribed and prefaced by Barbara S. Mouffe. Introduction by Hyatt Waggoner (State College, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1978), pp. 48-49. Subsequent references will be cited in the text as NHLN. 25

were reflected in the peaceful bosom of the

river; and surely, if its bosom can give such an

adequate reflection of Heaven, it cannot be so

gross and impure as I described it yesterday.

Or if so, it shall be a symbol to me, that even

a human breast which may appear least spiritual

in some aspects may still have the capability of

reflecting an infinite Heaven in its depths, and

there fore enjoying it. It is a comfortable

thought, that the smallest and most turbid mud 3 puddle can contain its own picture of heaven.

Hawthorne recognized that the walks he took and the sights he saw as he walked symbolized more than he could ever capture in his journal.

An entry made in 1844 is particularly important because it demonstrates that Hawthorne saw thought as a

form of movement.

And now how narrow, scanty, and meagre is this

record of observation, compared with the

immensity of what was to be observed, within the

bounds which I prescribed to myself. How

3 Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Centenary Edition. William Charvat, Roy Harvey Pearce, Claude M. Simpson, general editors (University, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1962- ), Volume VIII: The American Notebooks, p. 321. Subsequent references to Hawthorne's works are, unless otherwise indicated, from this edition and will be cited in the text as NHCE, accompanied by volume numbers in Roman numerals and page numbers in Arabic numerals. shallow and scanty a stream of thought, too,— of

distinct and expressed thought— compared with

the broad tide of dim emotions, ideas,

associations, which were flowing through the

haunted regions of imagination, intellect, and

sentiment, sometimes excited by what was around

me, sometimes with no perceptible connection

with them. When we see how little we can

express, it is a wonder that any man ever takes

up a pen a second time (NHCE VIII, 250).

Still, Hawthorne did continue to take up his pen.

Throughout his life, he walked almost daily and, without

fail, recorded in his journal what he saw.

Hawthorne's habit of walking is often remarked on by

his biographers. His earliest biographer, Henry James,

points out that Hawthorne "was not at any time what would

be called a sociable man, and there is therefore nothing

unexpected in the fact that he was fond of long walks in which he was not known to have had a companion."^ Newton

Arvin indicates that Hawthorne's love of walking began in

boyhood, when as a youth in Salem he would "go off on long walks by himself out toward Legg's Hill, and heaven knows 5 what other remote and unfrequented places." He continued

^ James, p. 3.

^ Arvin, p. 10. this practice when his family moved to Maine, where there was "no need of walking half the forenoon to find a spot

like Legg's Hill; Dingley Bay was retired enough for

anyone, even Nathaniel Hawthorne."^ Arvin also notes that

Hawthorne continued his habit of walking in college.

Randall Stewart records that he and three companions at

Bowdoin "were fined twenty-five cents each ’for walking on 7 the Sabbath.'" When Hawthorne left college and began his

twelve-year "apprenticeship" in self-proclaimed retirement

at his mother's home, he continued to break up his day by walking. Malcolm Cowley, drawing on George Lathrop's

interviews with the Hawthornes as well as on Julian

Hawthorne's record of his Aunt Elizabeth's recollections,

comments that

as the years passed [Hawthorne] fell into a

daily routine that seldom varied during

autumn and winter. Each morning he wrote

or read until it was time for the midday

dinner. . . . At sunset he went for a long

walk, from which he returned late in the

evening to eat a bowl of chocolate crumbed

thick with bread and then talk about books

with his two adoring sisters. . . . In

® Arvin, p. 13.

7 Stewart, Hawthorne Biography, p. 22. summer, Hawthorne's routine was more

varied; he went for an early-morning swim

along the rocks and often spent the day O wandering alone by the shore.

What he saw and felt on these walks in and around Salem became the basis for many of the tales and sketches he wrote between 1828 and 1840. The most notable of these

(or at least one of the most discussed) is "Night

Sketches." Much of this short sketch can be found in

Hawthorne's notebooks; in fact, parts of it seem to have been directly transcribed from the notebooks.

Walking, to be sure, was not Hawthorne's only mode of

journeying. Each summer, he took a fairly long trip through New England, riding in his uncles' coaches, and g once he traveled westward to Niagara and Detroit. During

these trips, he kept extensive and detailed notebooks,

recording the scenery and people that he encountered, along with the impression these sights made. These observations provided primary materials for many of the tales and sketches.A letter to , dated

Q Cowley, p. 2.

g Cowley, p. 3.

See Elizabeth Lathrop Chandler, "Studies of the Sources of the Tales and Romances Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne before 1853," Studies in Modern Language 7 (1926), 10; and Doubleday, p. 138. June 28, 1832, reveals Hawthorne had an explicit plan to use an anticipated summer trip to Canada as the basis for

"a book," although he seems not to have taken this trip 11 because of an epidemic in Vermont and New York.

But Hawthorne's continued habit of walking was never

superseded by riding. Following his marriage to Sophia

Peabody in 1842, he continued his almost daily walks

through the woods and near the seashore, sometimes alone, 12 but often accompanied by his bride. He also began

taking occasional walks with his friends and neighbors in

Concord, among them and Bronson 13 Alcott. At times he noted these in his journals, but

the notebook passages most evocatively reflected in his

fiction are those Hawthorne composed after solitary 14 walks. It was not until much later— not until he

settled down to write The Marble Faun— that he drew to an appreciable extent on notebook accounts of walks he had

taken with others. Lacking the philosophical tone of his earlier "walking" passages, these records became the basis, for example, of the descriptions in The Marble Faun

11 Newman, p. 62.

^ Arvin, p. 119.

13 Arvm, p. 113; Arlin Turner, Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981) , pi T

14 Waggoner, NHLN, p. 22. 30 of the vast Roman galleries of Classical, Renaissance, and

contemporary art, galleries that he had visited with

Sophia and his children when they were in Italy. The

relation between walking and the actual content of his work, however, is not its only connection with Hawthorne's writing. As Malcolm Cowley has pointed out, in

Hawthorne's case walking served another, and more profound, purpose.

It was the workshop where he forged his

plots and tempered his style. He dreamed

in words, while walking along the seashore

or under the pines, till the woods fitted

themselves to his stride. The result was

that his eighteenth-century English

developed into a natural, a walked style,

with a phrase for every step and a comma

after every phrase like a footprint in the


If what Cowley says is so, it is not surprising that walks, by-ways, and pathways appear as often or more often

in Hawthorne's work than any other setting— such as home, hearth, garden, or wilderness. Hawthorne seems to have

recognized an affinity between his self-conscious development as a writer— his discovery of himself as a literary artist— and the discoveries his characters make

Cowley, p. 6. 31

about themselves as they travel on foot. For Hawthorne,

the act of walking was integral with the art of


But the integral relation between walking and writing was not simply something that Hawthorne just happened to discover. As Neal Doubleday has noted, Hawthorne's art

"took shape by the interaction of his temperament and his 16 17 reading." He especially relished travel accounts.

Our knowledge of Hawthorne's reading habits comes

from several sources. From Hawthorne's letters to his

family, from the reminiscences of his sister Elizabeth and his son Julian, we can be fairly certain of what Hawthorne

read as a youth and as a student. From the charge lists of the Salem Athenaeum, we can see the books that

Hawthorne checked out and read while he lived and wrote in 18 Salem. An investigation of his reading as it is

revealed in these sources helps explain Hawthorne's use of the journey motif.

In his comprehensive study Travel Literature and the

Evolution of the Novel, Percy Adams says,

by perhaps universal agreement, the journey

16 Doubleday, p. 32.

17 Warren, p. 486.

18 "Books Read by Hawthorne, 1828-1850: From the Charge Books of the Salem Athenaeum," in the Essex Institute Historical Collections 68 (1932): 65-87. plot, whether real or allegorical, is the

most nearly basic in imaginative

literature. And yet the fictional journey

of whatever sort came after and, for its

inspiration, depended heavily on those

prior real journeys experienced vicariously

or directly and passed on orally by the

earliest forms of humankind, whether they

were watching flights of birds or animals,

engaging in short or extended hunting

trips, riding on logs in a rushing river,

or simply walking to the top of a hill.

Michel Butor agrees with William Dean

Howells that they were travelers before 19 they were novelists.

Adams also concurs with Howells and looks at the process of developing a travel account, whether fictional or nonfictional, as a literary act. While much travel literature was published in the form of a journal or diary, Adams says,

the majority of literature about real

travels has been written in the third

person and without doubt, much of that

portion has always been thought of as

19 Percy G. Adams, Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1983), pT 148. "travel literature." In this respect then,

a great mass of travel literature is

biographical and . . . shares with the

novel . . . those elements noted so well by

Paul Hunter and others as being shared by

biography and fiction[:] . . . con­

centration on a protagonist; the concern

with a set of ideas and themes; an exemplar

theory of history; . . . the use of

chronological order to give a life story,

with the narrator's selection, suppression,

ordering and digressions; and the picture

of a society. . . . Four important kinds

of travel literature not in the first

person . . . [are] original journals,

translations, collections or condensations

of travel tales, . . . combinations of

observation and hearsay, . . . composites

of journals, . . . rewritings of earlier

travels. . . . There is no typical travel

* account.20

Travel literature became an important means of discovering the world for the individual who could not travel himself. Adams observes, it also became an easily accessible source of information; nearly everyone who made

20 P. G. Adams, pp. 162, 163, 164, emphasis mine. a voyage to the Americas or to the Orient published an account of his travels and thoughts about what he had seen.

According to Charles Batten, the travel account underwent its most crucial development in the eighteenth-century. The society of this period

saw the writing of a travel account as an

important undertaking for the well-educated

man or woman who, having made a trip,

wished to convey in an artistically

pleasing fashion the information he had

gleaned. . . . Rebelling against its

Renaissance ancestors, the

eighteenth-century travel account achieved

a generic blending of factual information

and literary art. . . . For the eighteenth

century, then, the travel writer was first

of all a researcher, "sucking" intelligence

from different geographical regions. . . .

Travel books, however, were not merely i treatises, since they also provided an

imaginative experience for the reader who

happened to have a "kindred heart." They

conveyed, in short, the kind of mimetic

entertainment more often associated.with

narrative literature than with merely 35

philosophical studies. Thus in an age

anxious to learn about the world in which

it lived, the travel account joined

pleasure with instruction in what became,

perhaps, one of the most characteristic 21 forms of the century.

New England shared fully in the enthusiasm for travel literature, which became even stronger in the nineteenth century. Royall Tyler says in The Algerine Captive (1797) that he found everywhere in New England "an avid taste for 22 books of modern travels." Hawthorne subscribed to this taste throughout his life. Marion Kesselring observes that

even when he was busy in the workaday world

upon his return to Salem, travel books did

not lose their fascination for him. There

seemed no limit to the horizons he reached

through reading, nor was there a favorite

spot that lured him back. South America,

Europe, Turkey, India, Africa, New Zealand,

Iceland and the American Rockies; he

visited them all on vicarious trips from

21 Charles Batten, Pleasurable Instruction (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978), pp. 3, 5-6, 7-8.

22 Matthiessen, p. 200. 36 23 his attic room.

No doubt Hawthorne's addiction to travel literature was

enhanced by the memory of his father. According to Julian

Hawthorne, "when his [Nathaniel Hawthorne's] tall, grave

father came home, he would take little Nathaniel between

his knees and tell him tales of the sea and of foreign 24 countries."

In a general way, scholars have noted Hawthorne's debt to travel books. For example, according to Terence

Martin, from them Hawthorne learned to use journeys as a

symbol. This "promoted narrative focus and intensity even

as it allowed for economy of presentation." Moreover, the employment of the journey as a symbol had "important

formal consequences," making it possible for Hawthorne "to organize a tale effectively in terms of one central


It is not my purpose in this chapter to demonstrate a definitive cause/effect relationship between specific 2 6 stories Hawthorne wrote and specific books he read.

However, I would like to show a correspondence between the

23 Kesselring, p. 9.

24 J. Hawthorne, p. 16.

25 Terence Martin, Nathaniel Hawthorne (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1983), p. 68.

2 6 "Books Read"; Kesselring. 37 way the stories cluster and the number of books Hawthorne

read that took travel as their subject and therefore used

the journey as a central motif.

According to the charge lists at the Salem Athenaeum,

Hawthorne read travel books fairly regularly from 1826, when he first started borrowing on the card held by his

Aunt Mary Manning, until he moved from Salem in 1838.

(Only in 1835 were no travel books charged out to him.)

Like his reading of travel fiction, which was also continual, Hawthorne's reading about real travels was particularly intense during the months when he was preoccupied with Fanshawe, his first novel. Elizabeth

L. Chandler pinpoints the earliest and latest dates for the composition of Fanshawe as August 1826 and March 1828,

respectively, but suggests that its most likely period of 27 composition is late 1826 until early in 1827. This is a time when the records indicate that Hawthorne charged out

Don Quixote. During this period he also borrowed Thomas

Coryat's Crudities . . . Being a more Particular Account of his Travels (mostly on Foot) in Different Parts of the

Globe, Than any Hitherto Published (which he charged out just after Christmas 1826), the Jesuit Relations (taken out in February, 1827), and a volume in The Travels of the

Jesuits, edited by John Lockman, the most important

27 Chandler, n.p. 38

collection of voyages and travels of the years O Q 1580-1700. Also in early 1827, Hawthorne borrowed

Francesco Guicciardin's History of Italy from 1490 to

1532, Busbecq's Travels into Turkey, LeBlanc's Travels, or

The World Surveyed, Forsyth's Journal of a Tour in Italy,

Exquemelin's History of the Buccaneers of America,

Grattan's Highways and Byways, and Olearius' Voyages and

Travels of the Ambassadors Sent by Frederick Duke of

Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy, and the King of


By the middle of 1827, Hawthorne had probably

completed Fanshawe and begun trying to sell it. During

this time, he continued reading at the Athenaeum.

Numbered among the more substantial travel books he signed

for are Campbell's History of Virginia to 1781, George

Sandys' Relations of a Journey, describing a visit to the

Turkish Empire, Egypt and the Holy Land, and Defoe's Tour through Great Britain (which he borrowed again in 1828).

In the early months of 1828— after Fanshawe had been published and Hawthorne had decided that he wanted to disown his own book— he began the composition of a series of short stories with the intention of tying them together by a framing device. Several of these stories, now considered among Hawthorne's best, include significant

28 P. G. Adams, pp. 55-56; Henri Peyre, Travel, Quest, and Pilgrimage as a Literary Theme (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1978), pp. 9-10. journeys. Among them are "Roger Malvin's Burial," "The

Gentle Boy," "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," "Young Goodman

Brown," and "Sights from a Steeple." All of these were written between March, 1828, and September, 1829, during which time Hawthorne borrowed Parry's Journal of a Voyage

for the discovery of the Northwest Passage, Camden's

Brittania, Carver's Travels through the Interior Parts of

North America, Charlevoix's Journal of a Voyage to North

America, Bunting's Travels of the Holy Patriarchs,

Chandler's Travels in Asia Minor, Cadalso's Los Eruditos,

Defoe's Tour through Great Britain, Gage's Survey of the

West Indies, Jeffery's Natural and Civil History of the

French Dominions in North and South America, Lockman's

Travels of the Jesuits (which he had checked out the year before), and Walker's Journal of the Expedition to

Canada. Particularly interesting is the relatively high proportion of American travel journals that Hawthorne apparently perused in 1828-1829. Four important stories he was writing at the time are set in the American wilderness— "Roger Malvin's Burial," "The Gentle Boy," "My

Kinsman, Major Molineux," and "Young Goodman Brown"— and four other journey sketches— "My Visit to Niagara,"

"Sketches from Memory" (part I and part II), and "Old

Ticonderoga." In 1830, Hawthorne acquired from the

Athenaeum Olafsson's Voyage en Islande, Harris's Complete

Collection of Voyages and Travels, an anthology of "six 40

hundred of the most Authentic [travel] Writers," La

Rochefoucald's Voyage dans les Etats Unis d'Amerique,

Camoes' Discovery of India, and Tournefort's Voyage into

the Levant. However, the only travel story he seems to

have produced at this time is "The Seven Vagabonds," which

Chandler believes was written in October of 1830.

In 1831, Hawthorne again wrote only one travel-

centered story, "The Canterbury Pilgrims," which seems to be based on Hawthorne's own travels and observations

rather than on anything he read. But his borrowings in

1831— which included more than a dozen journey accounts— may have had some influence on Hawthorne's attempt to put

together a book-length collection of his stories.

Although the actual content of the collection Hawthorne envisioned is unknown, his biographers think that the

frame of the projected volume involved a journey. Parts of the "Story-Teller" frame remain in stories that

Hawthorne began to write in 1832, and their threads continue to appear in stories he wrote well into 1835.

These stories include "Mr. Higginbotham's ,"

"Passages from a Relinquished Work," "Sketches from

Memory," "The Ambitious Guest," and "The Great

Carbuncle"(all written in 1832); "Little Annie's Ramble,"

"Wakefield," "The Devil in Manuscript," and "Fragments

from the Journal of a " (written in 1834); and

"David Swan" and "The Man of Adamant" (1835). Sharing a 41

strong journey theme and setting, these stories were written during a period when Hawthorne borrowed nearly two dozen travel books, the most significant of which include

Brackenridge's Voyage to South America, Savage's Account of New Zealand, Bruce's Travels to discover the Source of

the Nile, Lister's Journey to Paris, Allen's The Practical

Tourist (which Hawthorne checked out on four separate occasions in a three year span), and Mauve's Travels in the Interior of Brazil. Most of these journals and travelogues relate fantastic voyages and include some description by their authors of the transformations they themselves underwent as a result of their travels. It would seem to be significant that the voyages Hawthorne's characters take in the stories of this time assume the form of fantasy. They are not so much outer as inner journeys.

From 1836 to 1838, Hawthorne wrote only five stories with journeys— "Night Sketches," "The Toll-Gatherer's

Day," "Footprints on the Seashore," "The Three-Fold

Destiny," and "The Lily's Quest"— but there was no dropping off in the number of books he got from the

Athenaeum; at least half of the books Hawthorne checked out at this time described American travels.

In 1838, Hawthorne left Salem for ten years and did not have access to the collection at the Athenaeum. He continued to write throughout most of this period and surely continued to read (or at least collect) travel works, although it is impossible to speculate on the

relationship between his reading and a number of stories

he wrote during this period, including "A Virtuoso's

Collection,11 "The New Adam and Eve," "The Hall of

Fantasy," "The Procession of Life," "Sunday at Home," and

"The Celestial Railroad." These stories focus on the procession of travelers on the road of life instead of a

single traveler.

When Hawthorne returned to Salem in 1848, he

reactivated his membership in the Athenaeum, but he appears to have read less in general, and far fewer travel volumes in particular, than he had in the past. Indeed, he signed for only a handful of books related to travel, among them Burnett's Notes on the Settlement of the

Northwest Territory and Peter Force's Papers Relating to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the colonies in

North America. These works seem to have had some

influence on two stories he wrote at this time, "The Great

Stone-Face" and "Ethan Brand," both of which strongly emphasize the American landscape, as does Hawthorne's masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter. Indeed, The Scarlet

Letter reflects a deepened awareness not only of the

American setting but of American history. Janis Stout has commented that America's "journey-centered history" constitutes a "pattern" in our fiction, "particularly the 43

escape and the home-founding." "Even more pervasively,"

she says, "the characteristic journeys of American

history" have influenced our literature "by providing

images and a framework of values associated with movement

and direction. . . . American history begins with 29 voyages."

Hawthorne appears to have begun his systematic

reading of American history at the Athenaeum in October,

1837, with the Archaeologica Americana, the transactions and collections of the American Antiquarian Society and

from this work to have developed a reading list of more

than twenty works relating to the histories of the pilgrims, Shakers, and other New Englanders. His reading

from this list over the next twelve months provided the major source for the material in his "Puritan" stories.

But as early as 1830 Hawthorne had begun to use the

Bibliotheca Americana; or, a Chronological Catalogue of

. . . Books, Pamphlets, State Papers, &c. upon the Subject of North America and South America. From this time on and throughout the 1830s, Hawthorne borrowed over two dozen collections of historical materials on the colonial states. Additionally, he charged out state papers pertaining to the campaigns of the first and second wars with Great Britain. Book charges in the Salem Athenaeum indicate that Hawthorne came back to these historical

29 Stout, pp. 5-6, 30. documents in the late 1840s, when he was again in Salem

and an active member of the Athenaeum. An unofficial but

important source for Hawthorne, as Julian Hawthorne

observes, was Felt's Annals of Salem. ^ Hawthorne's

reading during the 1830s of the historical documents of

New England is obvious in many of his stories with

journeys, including "Alice Doane's Appeal," "Old

Ticonderoga," "Main-Street," "Howe's Masquerade," "My

Kinsman, Major Molineux," "Roger Malvin's Burial," and

"The Gentle Boy." The influence of his reading of history

mingles in these stories with the influence of his reading

of travel books. This is evident not only in the

embellishment of the setting, but also more subtly in the

burden of the past which Hawthorne's characters experience

as a part of their journeys.

Hawthorne's reading in a variety of areas other than

travel and historical literature may have affected his development of the motif of the journey on foot. As a youth, he read numerous literary "classics" with travel or

journey motifs, and he reread many of these later in his

life. Julian Hawthorne says that we must "keep in view .

. . the fact that Hawthorne the graduate and undergraduate was training himself constantly to be a writer, and that he was reading books with the purpose mainly of educating

30 J. Hawthorne, p. 32. 31 himself for that profession.11 In his college years,

although he read some contemporary fiction, he read more

from the eighteenth century or earlier. 's

quest, The Faerie Queene, was the first book

Hawthorne purchased with his own money. He kept this book

and a family copy of The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia 32 for over forty years. While the Arcadia had little

direct influence on Hawthorne's writing, several of

Hawthorne's stories follow Spenser's pattern in The Faerie

Queene, in which a well-intentioned but imperfect knight

is sent to perform some heroic deed and develops the qualities necessary for fulfilling his task as he travels, usually through a forest, to meet his destiny. Meeting with temptations of increasing severity as he journeys, he

overcomes the first temptations easily, but he has to acquire the virtue necessary to resist the severest of the

temptations. After confronting his in battle, he emerges victorious as well as more learned and virtuous.

This pattern, or one similar to it, emerges in several of

Hawthorne's works, with the possible difference that

Hawthorne's "knights-errant" do not always emerge victorious. Critics have often pointed to the Spenserian quality of Hawthorne's "dark wood of moral errour" and to

31 J. Hawthorne, p. 93, emphasis mine.

32 Warren, p. 482; J. Hawthorne, pp. 39-40. 46

the resemblance between the testing-teaching-testing

pattern in Spenser and the plot in several of Hawthorne's

stories, including "The Gentle Boy," The Lily's Quest," 33 "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," and "Ethan Brand."

According to Julian Hawthorne, who relied on

conversations with his aunts and on his own recollections

of his father's memories, Hawthorne read many novels

before college. A survey of. those we know he read shows

that many of these are structured around a protagonist's

journey, for example The Mysteries of Udolpho, Roderick

Random, The Arabian Nights, and Gil Bias— which Hawthorne

refers to in both Fanshawe and "Passages from a

Relinquished Work." As a youth Hawthorne read the works

of Scott, Fielding, Sterne, and Smollett and reread them 34 in adulthood. He also knew the work of Cervantes, whose

"journey-man" Don Quixote is a figure behind many of

Hawthorne's seekers. It is interesting that Hawthorne

turned to Don Quixote just around or before the time that 35 he is thought to have written Fanshawe. Although most

critics recognize Hawthorne's debt to Scott in this early work, Hawthorne's Dr. Melmoth as he canters off to rescue

33 Stewart, Christian Doctrine, p. 45; Arlin Turner, Nathaniel Hawthorne; An Introduction (New York: Holt, 1961), p. 124; Smith, pp. 48-49.

34 J. Hawthorne, pp. 64-66.

35 Chandler, n.p. 47

his ward, Ellen Langton, bears a great resemblance to

Cervantes' Quixote as he sets out on his erstwhile quest.

Other fiction that Hawthorne read in the 1820s which

employs the journey as a motif or symbol includes

Moirier's Adventures of Haji Baba of Ispahan, Samuel

Butler's Hudibras, James Hogg's The Pilgrim of the Sun, and Samuel Richardson's Pamela. In the 1830s, several

other novels with plots developing around journeys appear on the Athenaeum's list of books charged to Hawthorne:

Camilla by Fanny Burney, Antar, a Bedoueen Romance,

translated from the Arabic by Terrick Hamilton, and

Wieland by the American writer . He also took out Pope's translation of Homer and the works of

Swift and Defoe, as well as the complete works of

Voltaire, including Candide.

But one of the strongest influences on Hawthorne was his fellow countryman and elder contemporary Washington

Irving. Roberta Weldon points out:

Washington Irving was among the first to

extend the possibilities of the walking

tour form in America. In The Sketch Book

. . . Irving's persona makes an excursion

not to discover himself but to achieve a

greater understanding of human nature.

Thus he is concerned less with the

intensity of his experiences than with "the 48

range of his observations," accepting that

the more he can experience and the more

human types he can encounter, the more

accurate will be his conclusions about the

human condition.

Hawthorne used Irving's A Tour of the Prairies as a source when he compiled the American Magazine of Useful and

Entertaining Knowledge, drawing much less often, as Edwin 37 Fussell notes, "on other kinds of American sources."

Thomas Pauly notes that Hawthorne's use of the literary sketch mirrors Irving's; both writers reflect the American authors who for "more than a century" had been inspired by the "fashionable interest in travel, which constituted an aesthetic basis for their practice." Pauly observes that the sketch, which was for them a prose account, became an

"exercise of the artistic sensibility on the act of appreciation." Stimulated by the "desire of the amateur to involve the mind in the eye's delights," American writers "made the [travel] sketch a process of psychological investigation in quest of indeterminate 38 results." Hawthorne mentioned his debt to Irving on

Weldon, pp. 128-129.

Fussell, p. 72.

38 Thomas Pauly, "The Literary Sketch in Nineteenth- Century America," Tulane Studies in Language and Literature 17 (1975 ), 490. 49

more than one occasion and was not distressed when one of

his reviewers saw the affinity in their work.

But Hawthorne extended Irving's use of the journey as

a framing device in Tales of a Traveler (which he checked

out and read in 1832) to a device that created for the

reader a literal "way" of self-discovery. Significantly,

Hawthorne tried on three different occasions to sell

collections of short stories employing such a device. In

each case, the plan was subverted by his editors, who

found it more to their advantage to publish Hawthorne's

stories individually.

Irving's work, however, was not the most fundamental

influence on Hawthorne. The most pervasive influence was

John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. According to

Elizabeth Hawthorne, her brother received a copy of this '

allegory, the first book he owned, when he was four years 39 old. His favorite story, Pilgrim's Progress is mentioned more frequently in his writings than any other 40 book. Even Julian Hawthorne, who generally maintains

that his father's reading is not specifically evidenced in his writing, admits that The Pilgrim's Progress suggested or influenced such works as "A Virtuoso's Collection" and

39 J. Hawthorne, p. 14.

40 Cowley, p. 5; Warren, p. 482. 41 "The Celestial Railroad." Austin Warren records that whenever Hawthorne visited his grandmother "he was

accustomed to take the old family copy [of The Pilgrim's

Progress] to a large chair in a corner of the room near 42 window and, without speaking, to read it by the hour."

Arlin Turner notes that Hawthorne himself once said he

knew The Pilgrim's Progress "virtually by heart.

Bunyan was, Hawthorne said, "moulded of homeliest clay, 44 but instinct with celestial fire."

In his attraction to Christian's journey to

salvation, Hawthorne followed the taste of his age, particularly in America. According to David Smith:

American interest in Bunyan was reflected

in rather special and often curious ways.

The American wilderness became a symbol for

dark, Satanic evil. The process of

cultivating it into a garden required, from

a Puritan standpoint, clearing, weeding,

and fencing in. A Bunyan-like Pilgrim,

placed incongruously in this wilderness

41 J. Hawthorne, pp. 21-22.

42 Warren, p. 482.

43 Turner, Hawthorne Introduction, p. 124.

44 Stewart, Hawthorne Biography p. 243. 51

world, in contradistinction to Bunyan's

"wilderness of this world," would wander in

a maze. . . . Numerous nineteenth-century

American allegories repeatedly placed

Bunyan's Christian in an American

wilderness and made him tramp through it in

search of the celestial city. . . .

Nathaniel Hawthorne's . . . imaginative

adaptation of The Pilgrim's Progress 45 . . . was hardly an innovation.

Several scholars have commented upon Bunyan's

influence, particularly on American writers. Georg Roppen

and Richard Sommer observe the epiphanic nature of

Bunyan's journey: the predominating feature, they say, of

"the pilgrims' arrival at their destination, is their passage through the River of Death and the attendant

transformation they undergo, shedding their mortal

garments in preparation to receive the golden equipment of 46 eternal life." David Smith, who has written most

extensively on Bunyan's influence in America, observes

that both the millennial theme— often commented on by

American cultural historians— and the related theme of the pilgrimage are derived at least in part from Bunyan. When

45 Smith, pp. 14, 9-10, 19, 11.

46 Roppen and Sommer, p. 48. 52

"the pilgrimage was transferred to the American

continent," he notes, "it was confronted by an environment

radically dissimilar to that of the conventional English

pilgrimages. Jerusalem no longer waited at the end of the

difficult way. If it were to appear, it must be created,

constructed, shaped. The Heavenly City emerged, as it were to the degree that a satanic wilderness was torn away

and subdued."4^

There were numerous American reworkings of The

Pilgrim's Progress. Some transformed Bunyan's allegory of

Christian salvation into political attacks on progress and 48 reform. Some, such as "A Reel in a Bottle, for Jack in

the Doldrums," were temperance tracts. What is perhaps most distinctive about Hawthorne's use of Bunyan's work is

that he, like Bunyan himself, used the image of the

Christian walking up the road from the City of Destruction

to the Heavenly City as a symbol for a way of life, not

simply as a way to symbolize a political or moral attitude.

Various scholars have noted Bunyan's particular influence on Nathaniel Hawthorne. W. Stacy Johnson divides the stories Bunyan influenced into two classes— those stories which allude to Bunyan, such as "The Hall of

4^ Smith, pp. 5, 10.

48 Smith, p. 20. 53

Fantasy," "The Virtuoso's Collection," "Ethan Brand," "The

Lily's Quest," "Egotism: or The Bosom Serpent," "The

Haunted Mind," The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven

Gables, and The Blithedale Romance; and those which

"parallel" The Pilgrim's Progress, such as "The Great

Carbuncle" and "The Man of Adamant." Johnson quotes G. P.

Lathrop's description of a passage in The Scarlet Letter describing Dimmesdale's return from his interview in the woods with Hester and likens his desire to utter blasphemies to Christian's temptation in the Valley of the

Shadow as a "most powerful suggestion of kinship between 49 the two [Dimmesdale's and Christian's] imaginations."

Bruce Granger likewise remarks on the correspondence 50 between Dimmesdale and Christian. Arthur Broes comments 51 upon Robin Molineux's resemblance to Christian. But, again, it is David Smith whose treatment of Bunyan's

influence is most complete. Pointing out that Hawthorne turned repeatedly in his fiction to imagery that comes from Bunyan, Smith devotes an entire chapter to a discussion of three images Hawthorne employs which reflect

Bunyan as a fundamental source: the disingenuous pilgrim

49 Johnson, pp. 160-161.

50 Bruce Ingram Granger, "Arthur Dimmesdale as ," Nineteenth Century Fiction 19 (1964), 198.

51 Broes, pp. 173. 54 who is "in fact deluded in his quest for the Celestial

City," pathways and byways in a "labyrinthine wilderness,"

and the unsuccessful search for the Celestial City. Smith

finds the source for the disingenuous pilgrim in Hawthorne

in Bunyan's character Ignorance. His first appearance in

Hawthorne, he says, is in "The Celestial Railroad." This

is followed by his subsequent appearance as Dimmesdale in

The Scarlet Letter, Clifford in The House of the Seven 52 Gables, and Coverdale in The Blithedale Romance. The use of pathways and byways in Fanshawe, Smith says, stems

from Hawthorne's devotion to The Pilgrim's Progress, and

the fascination with the pilgrimage to the Heavenly City

is the inspiration for The Blithedale Romance.

While Smith's analyses of the influence of Bunyan on

these works is helpful— and while he admits that "we are

likely to find unexpected and often luxuriant blossomings

from it throughout the range of [Hawthorne's] imaginative 53 production" — he does not examine this phenomenon as

closely as possible. For one thing, he ignores how

Hawthorne's borrowings, from Bunyan as well as others, create many of the problems that beset Fanshawe. Because

it is important to examine Hawthorne's first novel, his

intentions in it, and its many failures, before examining

52 Smith, pp. 60, 48, 14, 61-62.

Smith, p. 89. 55 the image of the walking journey in Hawthorne's short fiction, I will turn to Fanshawe in my next chapter. Chapter II: Fanshawe

Hawthorne's first published work was not, according to his sister Elizabeth, the first work that he wrote.

She recalled that, while he was in college, her brother had written and tried to publish a couple of shorter pieces, but she could not remember what they were. In any event, the novel Fanshawe, his earliest published work, stands in an interesting relationship to Hawthorne's later work. Its publication precedes that of his sketches and short stories and probably precedes their composition, as well.

Fanshawe was first published in 1828. It was widely reviewed, for the most part, and favorably.1- In her

Ladies Magazine, Mrs. Sarah Hale praised the book as an 2 "authentic expression of American genius." On the other hand, several editors with sterner standards, like Joseph

Buckingham of the New England Galaxy, considered the book too conventional, "like a thousand others," a mere "love story" with "a mystery, an elopement, a villain, a father, a tavern, almost a duel, a horrible death, and— Heaven

^ Roy Harvey Pearce, "Introduction to Fanshawe," The Centenary Edition, Volume III, p. 303.

2 Quoted in Pearce, "Introduction," p. 304.

56 57 save the mark I— an end."^ This judgment is confirmed by present-day reader Roy Harvey Pearce, who points out that

Fanshawe "was a conventionally compounded narrative" with appropriate echoes of Scott and the Gothic romance,

"comical" interludes, conventional hyperbolic passages on

"nature," and the sort of plot in which "everything and everyone at the end assumed a proper place in the American scheme of things." Indeed, Pearce says, Fanshawe was of a piece with the sort of fiction written by that "d d mob of scribbling women" (Mrs. Hale was one of them) whose work later so infuriated Hawthorne.^

Soon recognizing the imitative quality of his effort-

-although he had at first promoted Fanshawe— Hawthorne took greater pains to have the book suppressed than he did to have it published. He asked his friend Horatio Bridge to burn his copy of Fanshawe and destroyed his own. A warehouse fire that destroyed most of the unsold copies probably led Hawthorne to hope that he might never have to bother with Fanshawe again. Indeed, he never mentioned it and was so successful in keeping his name separate from the book that even his wife, who always took an active interest in his work and his career, had never heard of it. When was shown a copy of Fanshawe

3 Quoted in Pearce, "Introduction,"p. 305, from a review of November 31, 1828.

4 Pearce, "Introduction," pp. 305, 306. 58 shortly after her husband's death in 1864, she denied that it was his and remained unconvinced until Horatio Bridge told her that it was indeed Hawthorne's first book. When

Fanshawe was republished in 1876, however, Bayard Taylor, writing in the New York Daily Tribune, suggested the opinion of the novel that would be confirmed by later students of Hawthorne: Fanshawe "has the slightest possible plot, the characters are imperfectly presented, the descriptions are commonplace to the verge of tameness, yet one who reads the story carefully will easily detect the weak and timid presence of all Hawthorne's peculiar powers."^ One can, I think, say more specifically that the devices Hawthorne used in the composition of Fanshawe appear in a more sophisticated and refined form in all of the romances. In fact, I believe that the sophistication and refinement of the romances are the product of the first reworking of Fanshawe's themes in the short stories.

A look at Hawthorne's approach to theme and technique in

Fanshawe and an of the problems he created in their use will precede my discussion of the way he tried to solve those problems in the stories.

Several contemporary scholars, particularly Carl Bode and Robert Gross, have argued that Fanshawe contains the germ of Hawthorne's later work. Bode admits not only that

^ Quoted in Pearce, "Introduction," pp. 315-316, from a review dated July 7, 1876. Hawthorne fails to "transform his sources," but also that he shares many of his literary faults with "the great majority of popular novelists." "Not the least fault," he observes, "is the stilted and melodramatic character of much of the writing. . . .Fanshawe is in fact a melodrama." What is good about Fanshawe, Bode asserts, is not Hawthorne's ability to develop plot or theme or to control the story— he did not really have that capacity yet— but his ability to analyze character, especially in the development of such minor characters as Hugh Crombie and the chambermaid Dolly, who are memorable in a way that is totally disproportionate to their importance in the novel. The improbable turns in the plot, Bode argues, are the result of Hawthorne's consistent unwillingness to compromise the integrity of his characters. Bode is probably right in holding that Fanshawe is "actually a study of personality," but to discover an element of consistency in the novel, he ignores the bizarre leaps from one scene to another, and the inexplicable changes of within scenes.*’ One recalls in particular the scene at the Hand and Bottle in which the gloomy mood of Edward

Walcott's "blue funk" is suddenly broken and his party enlivened by the entrance of Fanshawe. While Hawthorne does show a great interest in minor characters, as Bode

® Carl Bode, "Hawthorne's Fanshawe; The Promising of Greatness," New England Quarterly 23 (June 1950), 236- 237, 241. 60 notes, their development distracts from the central story and does nothing to move the plot along, nor does it serve as a comment upon the central action, as will digressions in Hawthorne's later stories.

Robert Gross's analysis of style in Fanshawe focuses primarily on linguistic and semantic similarities between

Fanshawe and Hawthorne's later work, particularly The

Marble Faun, Hawthorne's last completed romance. Gross's thesis is that certain aspects of Fanshawe are characteristic of Hawthorne. Fanshawe, he says, is

"animated by the machinery which remained important in

[Hawthorne's] mature work: ominous portents, gargoyle mixtures of comedy and tragedy, mysteries and obscurities, criminality, lust, drunkenness, mysterious illness, madness, diabolical laughter, an abduction, a search and violent death— all presided over by an emaciated hero who has the charisma.11 ^ Gross notes other similarities between Fanshawe and the later work, most significantly the use of "a hypothetical vantage point or a hypothetical viewer favorably circumstanced for detecting the significance of a scene." Hawthorne's awkwardness in the changing of scenes, he comments, is due "partly to [his] unskillful imitation of Scott's unskillful manner of shifting scenes and characters, but more to his own

7 Robert Eugene Gross, "Hawthorne's First Novel: The Future of a Style," Publications of the Modern Language Association 78 (March 1963), 60. 61 devotion to the conceptual. He had as well a justifying example of arbitrary plotting in Rasselas with its Q tenuously connected occasions for wisdom." This was one influence that Hawthorne was able to overcome by the time he wrote The Scarlet Letter.

David Smith comments that Fanshawefs principal weakness is "the attempt and failure of allegory," noting in particular that certain images from The Pilgrim's

Progress "seem to have given shape" to it. Smith also points to the contrast between "the linear movement along a pathway" and the "corresponding erratic movement along a 9 bypath." Calling this the "central motive" in the novel,

Smith focuses on how the single pathway or roadway through the wilderness in Fanshawe contrasts with byways which lead to death and destruction, and how the characters can be identified by the routes they normally follow. He also finds analogies for most of the characters in Fanshawe to characters from The Pilgrim's Progress. Dr. Melmoth, for example, resembles Formalist, and Butler, Hypocrisy.^

But Smith ignores most of the problems that Hawthorne creates for himself in his of Fanshawe, although he does note in a general way that "when he wrote

O R.E. Gross, pp. 62, 63.

® Smith, pp. 49-50.

^ Smith, pp. 51-52. 62

Fanshawe, [Hawthorne's] control of . . . theme was not fully within his' power." He continues,

Fanshawe is the first of a number of Hawthorne's

intellectual heroes whose "proud and lonely

thoughts" led them away from the salvation

offered by "the quiet paths." A pattern has

been established, and Hawthorne's later heroes

will invariably choose bypaths in their lonely,

intellectual and futile search for the Holy City

in the American wilderness. . . . In the later

works, Bunyan's allegorical vehicle will be

"absorbed" into Hawthorne's "realistic"

material, and the results will be more

satisfactory. . . . But the importance to

Hawthorne's later work lies in the fact that

they [his themes] were first experimentally

developed in Fanshawe, and it would appear that

the essential imagery of The Pilgrim's Progress 11 lent itself to the experiment.

Smith's discussion continues with a presentation of the parallels in theme shared by The Pilgrim's Progress and

The Scarlet Letter and with a comparison of character relationships in Bunyan's work and The Blithedale Romance.

Establishing an important relationship between Bunyan's work and all of Hawthorne's longer works, Smith

11 Smith, pp. 55, 57. 63 nonetheless fails to discuss the way Hawthorne developed his ability to use the themes and imagery he derived from both The Pilgrim's Progress and the larger body of literature using the journey theme. It is important to see that the differences between the use of Bunyan in

Fanshawe and in all the later romances derives from what

Hawthorne learned while writing the many stories he wrote between 1828 and 1850.

Hawthorne's work, Daniel Marder observes, is a

"process not into the self but out of it and into society, the process of exile and return. The journey into exile begins with the artificial Fanshawe which seems to wash

[Hawthorne's] mind of eclectic stereotypes largely 12 inspired by Sir Walter Scott." While the influence of

Scott persists after the writing of Fanshawe, the writing of his first novel seems to have convinced Hawthorne that he had to make the work of his several "mentors" his own before he could write successfully.

The appearance of many of the elements from Fanshawe in Hawthorne's work of the 1830s and 1840s is neither coincidental nor derivative. Their very repetition demonstrates that Hawthorne was deliberately honing his skills, perhaps not always with the intention of eventually writing longer works, but always with the intention of improving his style and establishing himself

12 Marder, p. 62. 64 as a capable and serious writer. The short stories were, in effect, Hawthorne's workshop for the romances. They were the place where he learned how to balance his development of character and narrative and to subordinate both to plot in order most effectively to present the thematic motive as he told a story. Looking at Fanshawe closely, we see what Hawthorne must have seen when he looked back at it after publication: a collection of i inadequately realized ideas and motifs that still interested him.

Fanshawe is set in New England in the mid-to-late eighteenth century, near the campus of Harley College, a small rural institution of higher learning. The story opens as Doctor Melmoth, the head of the College, and his wife prepare to take into their home young Ellen Langton, the only child of a merchant sea-captain who is a long­ time friend of the Doctor. Ellen is a lovely girl whose presence at the college distracts many of the young men from their studies. Particularly affected by her presence are the promising but headstrong Edward Walcott, and the intellectually gifted but socially backward Fanshawe.

Both young men make Ellen's acquaintance and begin spending as much time as possible with her on walks in the woods or in the garden that Dr. Melmoth has planted.

Ellen enjoys the company of both young men, and in fact the three of them occasionally spend an afternoon 65 together, walking or riding in the woods.

On one of these walks the trio encounters a mysterious stranger fishing in the stream. They speak with him briefly but leave soon after he offends Ellen and angers Walcott with his forward behavior. After the three return to Dr. Melmoth's house, Walcott goes back to the stream to challenge the stranger, who is nowhere to be found. The scene switches back to Dr. Melmoth's garden, where Ellen is walking alone when she is again approached by the mysterious stranger. He is about to tell her some news of her father when Fanshawe's appearance causes him to leave. Fanshawe suspects the stranger's presence but says nothing.

The scene shifts to the Hand and Bottle Inn, an establishment run by a reformed ne'er do well named Hugh

Crombie. Hugh is surprised to discover that a companion of his former days, a younger man, named Butler— the mysterious stranger haunting Ellen— has returned to his childhood home near Harley College. Butler reveals to

Hugh his plan to trick Ellen into eloping with him and thus to secure her inheritance for himself, a plan he has concocted out of revenge against Ellen's father, who he believes wronged him several years before. Hugh is appalled at Butler's plan but agrees to give what little assistance he can on the basis of their old friendship.

Over the next few days, Ellen is observed by her 66 friends to be strangely quiet and preoccupied. Walcott interprets this as a change in her affections, so he goes to the Hand and Bottle, where he takes a room and spends his time drinking with a couple of schoolmates. He is joined eventually by Fanshawe, whose presence lightens the mood of the group. Soon afterwards, they are discovered by Dr. Melmoth, who reprimands them for having gathered to drink. The students prepare to disperse but happen to spot Ellen in another room. Much to her humiliation, they question her about her presence at the Inn; she is taken home by Dr. Melmoth, however, without having to account for her actions.

The next morning, Mrs. Melmoth goes to waken a late- sleeping Ellen only to discover that the girl is missing.

The Doctor goes off on horseback to look for her and is eventually joined by Fanshawe and, briefly, by Walcott, who canters ahead of them to hasten the search, while on the road, Fanshawe and Dr. Melmoth meet Ellen's father; he and his traveling companion join the search.

In the meantime, Ellen has met twice with Butler, once at the Inn, where she was discovered, and later outside her window at Dr. Melmoth's home. Butler persuades her to go away with him by telling her that her father (whom Butler believes to be dead) is ill and has sent for her. She goes with him but soon realizes her mistake, even though she is helpless to do anything about 67 it. The pair stop briefly at an old cottage which Ellen had seen on earlier walks with Fanshawe and Walcott, and she discovers then that it is Butler's childhood home and that the woman who is dying is his mother. Ellen's attempt to persuade Butler to free her for his mother's sake only maddens him further and strengthens his resolve to shame her. He brings her into the forest and hides her in a cave; once she is left alone, Ellen determines to break free.

Fanshawe breaks off from the search party and stumbles upon Ellen as she is about to be attacked by

Butler, who is angry because she has tried to escape. He distracts Butler and scuffles briefly with him before

Butler falls over the side of the cliff and onto the rocks below, where he is killed instantly. An hysterical Ellen faints and is eventually brought back to Dr. Melmoth's home where, after a brief convalescence, she is reunited with her family and friends.

Butler's past is quickly summarized; he is revealed as a low-born rascal who was doomed by his unscrupulous attempts to better himself. The last of his family and the only child, he leaves no relatives to mourn him.

Someone erects a monument at the site of his death, but, by the narrator's time, its epigraph is almost worn away, and the stone is covered with dirt and weeds.

Ellen's gratitude to her rescuer, Fanshawe, develops 68 into a deeper affection, and she offers herself as his lifelong companion. Sadly but firmly, he refuses her, believing that he is called to an unremitting commitment to academia. Edward Walcott thus finds that his suit with

Ellen is not hopeless, and he courts her in earnest and wins her hand. Fanshawe reverts back to the life of the single-minded, solitary scholar and burns his young life out in the pursuit of knowledge. He dies young and is buried near Harley College.

In my summary of prior critical studies, I have indicated certain particularly important aspects of

Fanshawe. One is the development of character types. If

Ellen Langton, Edward Walcott, Fanshawe, Doctor Melmoth, and Butler represent established novelistic types, they anticipate characters that appear in Hawthorne's later romances. Butler is perhaps the least interesting character in Fanshawe because he is so evil, without motivation except for the fate of his lowly birth.

Hawthorne must have realized that such an explanation for behavior gave him no opportunity to explore psychology, for he never used it again. In his later stories, evil behavior is always the result of a response to the immediate circumstances of a character's life; there may be circumstances in a character's past that contribute to an evil situation, but the evil action is always the result of an immediate and conscious choice of the character. Butler can be characterized with reference to the places in which he travels; he is never seen traveling on the open road, or on well-traveled pathways. He is instead a familiar of the "darkened forest paths"—

"devious," "faintly traced," and "overgrown with bushes and young trees"— that he had traveled in his childhood

(NHCE III, 437). These by-paths symbolize the unbridled and dangerous inclinations of the individual will.

Butler's first appearance is in the woods by the stream at an extremely secluded spot. He appears at Hugh Crombie's

Inn as if from nowhere. He later visits Ellen twice, almost as an apparition conjured out of Doctor Melmoth's garden, which we are told is a "labyrinth of winding paths, bordered by hedges and impeded by shrubbery. Many of the original trees of the forest were still flourishing among the exotics" (NHCE III, 360-61). After he has succeeded in getting Ellen to leave Harley College with him, he leads her not on the main road but "through a wild and gloomy scene" (NHCE III, 432).

Hawthorne's treatment of his villain, Butler, is different in one other way from his later treatment of such characters: in the effect of guilt upon his actions.

At his mother's deathbed, Butler is clearly distressed over the grief and insanity he has brought upon her. But unlike the effect of such guilt in the later romances,

Butler's guilt "did not produce in him a resolution to do wrong no more. The sudden consciousness of accumulated guilt made him desperate. He felt as if no one had thenceforth a claim to justice or compassion at his hands when his neglect and cruelty had poisoned his mother's life, and hastened her death" (NHCE III, 435). Perhaps

Chillingworth's resolve to revenge himself on Hester

Prynne and her lover is derived from Butler's attitude, but he reacts to a situation in which he has been wronged and for which he is not directly responsible. In

Hawthorne's later works, characters who recognize their own culpability do not become hardened into an unbreakabl pattern of evil actions.

Ellen Langton is the first of another type that will show up again and again in Hawthorne. Called "the snow maiden" and "the fair maiden," she is always a young and beautiful girl whose life is endangered by the human potential for evil. In some of Hawthorne's later works, she possesses the ability to deflect others from wrongdoing or at least to persuade them to do good, and she herself often learns something from the life she sees around her, becoming more than just a bit of window- dressing for the protagonist's journey.

In his characterization of Ellen, Hawthorne establishes the conventions for his fair-haired heroine.

She is kind, lovely, and gentle, "formed to walk in the calm and quiet paths of life, and to pluck the flowers of happiness from the way-side, where they grow" (NHCE III,

353). She is easily frightened by the presence of evil, but often brave to the point of foolishness. We are told that Ellen approaches Butler with a "sensation of fear, stronger than she had ever before experienced" (NHCE III,

353). She has a horror of the unconventional. We learn that, when she is discovered at the Hand and Bottle Inn by

Doctor Melmoth, Edward Walcott, and the other students,

"terror had at first blanched her as white as a lily, or as a marble statue, which for a moment she resembled as she stood motionless in the center of the room. Shame next bore sway; and her blushing countenance, covered by her slender white fingers, might fantastically be compared to a variegated rose, with its alternate stripes of white and red" (NHCE III, 392). Ellen is basically powerless in the face of evil, but when unopposed by evil, she is a force for good, as evidenced by the improved good health that Fanshawe experiences as a result of her companionship, as well as by the calming effect she has on the impetuous Edward Walcott.

These characteristics recur in many of Hawthorne's later feminine characters. In the romances, particularly

The Blithedale Romance and The Marble Faun, the fair­ haired maiden is contrasted with the dark woman, whose more sensitive appreciation of good and evil forces her to confront the choices that so many of Hawthorne's 72 have to make. It is interesting that, in The

Scarlet Letter, Arthur Dimmesdale possesses characteristics that Hawthorne first developed in Ellen


Hawthorne's most interesting experiments in character in Fanshawe, though at the same time his greatest failures, are embodied in the figures of Doctor Melmoth,

Fanshawe, and Edward Walcott. Each possesses qualities and characteristics that Hawthorne was to combine in many of his later but that he seemed unable to bring together in Fanshawe. In part, this failure may derive from the inclination Carl Bode has observed in

Hawthorne to create characters that remain consistent in their behavior.

In Doctor Melmoth is the germ for Hawthorne's

"experienced innocent," a figure who already has great intelligence and the desire to remain in contact with the world but is at the same time unable to deal with the problems that confront him. We are told that, in spite of his "fanciful" private pursuits, Doctor Melmoth is

"diligent and successful in the arts of instruction" (NHCE

III, 335). Nevertheless, he is unable to guide his brightest student, Fanshawe, into a meaningful relationship with the world. When he discovers the basically good but mischievous students at the Hand and

Bottle, he can rebuke their disobedience of temperance 73 regulations, but he cannot deal with Ellen's willful deception or Butler's deliberate malevolence toward her.

He cannot protect Ellen from Butler, and when he must search for her, we learn that he is "altogether a child in the ways of the world, having spent his youth and early manhood in abstracted study, and his maturity in the solitude of these hills. The expedition, therefore, on which fate had now thrust him, was an entire deviation from the quiet path-way of all his former years, and he felt like one who sets forth over the broad ocean, without chart or compass" (NHCE ill, 415). When he hears hoof- steps close behind him, he looks around in some apprehension, though he is "unable to conceal his satisfaction on recognizing Edward Walcott" (NHCE III,

415), sensing that the headstrong youth is someone who may be better equipped than he to handle the malevolent


Doctor Melmoth is a great improvement over the standard elder companions and parsons in Hawthorne's eighteenth-century sources. In Melmoth he attempts to create a character who, while he is no buffoon, is inept in worldly matters. Doctor Melmoth provides relatively mild , but he is not sharply enough drawn to counterpoint any of the other characters. It is only in conjunction with Edward Walcott and Fanshawe that he acts decisively or is in a position to do anything about the 74 situations that confront him. But Melmoth anticipates several important later characters in Hawthorne: in his innate goodness and his inability to use that goodness to serve any purpose, he provides a source for Uncle Venner in The House of the Seven Gables and perhaps for Old

Moodie in The Blithedale Romance and Hilda in The Marble


Edward Walcott is likewise an incomplete character.

In the description we have of him at the opening of

Fanshawe, we might expect that he would be not only the man who wins Ellen Langton's hand but also her savior. We are told that his "character as a scholar was more than respectable, though many youthful foibles, sometimes approaching near to vices, were laid to his charge" (NHCE

III, 343). Edward has a lot to learn, and his experiences at Harley College, both academic and extracurricular, might be a means of education for him. This, however, is not the case. He always remains headstrong and impetuous; angry enough to try to attempt challenging Butler after their first encounter, he is sufficiently depressed by

Ellen's mysteriously subdued behavior to go on a drinking spree with his fellow undergraduates. When he and his fellows, along with Doctor Melmoth, discover Ellen at the

Inn and can get no explanation to justify her presence, he is so angry that "a phrenologist would probably have found the organ of destructiveness in strong development just then, upon Edward's cranium; for he certainly manifested an impulse to break and destroy whatever chanced to be within his reach" (NHCE III, 395). Impatient to rescue

Ellen after she disappears, he races ahead of the rest of the search party to try to find her.

But Edward has no part in Ellen's rescue; that is left solely to Fanshawe, although Edward is the ultimate beneficiary of her gratitude when he marries her four years later. We have no of Edward's transformation, which is described only indirectly:

"Ellen's gentle, almost imperceptible, but powerful influence, drew her husband away from the passions and pursuits that would have interfered with domestic felicity; and he never regretted the worldly distinction of which she thus deprived him" (NHCE III, 461).

Part of our difficulty in accepting Edward's fate comes from the fact that, like Butler's, it seems to have been predetermined. Where Butler has been predestined to fail, Walcott is predestined to succeed. Yet since we never see him develop, his eventual success is almost meaningless. He has learned no great secret, made no ' difficult choice, endured no hardship to get where he is.

Edward reminds us of Robin Molineux; he is a shrewd youth with as yet undeveloped potential, but unlike Robin his good fortune lacks ironic implications.

Fanshawe is the character most readily identifiable 76 as an of Hawthorne's later heroes, whose "proud and lonely isolation" from mankind often results in their tragic end. However, he has little motivation to make this choice. After he meets Ellen Langton, Fanshawe remains for the most part unchanged:

He was still the same solitary being, so far as

regarded his own sex, and he still confined

himself sedulously to his chamber, except for

one hour— the sunset hour— of every day. At

that period, unless prevented by the inclemency

of the weather, he was accustomed to tread a

path that wound along the banks of the stream.

He had discovered that this was the most

frequent scene of Ellen's walks, and this it was

that drew him thither (NHCE III, 352).

While his health and temperament seem to improve under

Ellen's influence, and he is sufficiently animated to protect her from Butler, Fanshawe learns nothing about himself. His choice to forswear a life with Ellen in order to pursue his studies is dramatically ironic. His early death leaves him unredeemed by any complexity of thought or feeling.

Actually, Fanshawe's choice is heroic in one of its motives— his belief that he has but a short time to live in the first place and that he could never make Ellen happy. At the same time, Fanshawe considers himself an inferior choice for Ellen. The of motives could be the basis of a tragic ending, but Hawthorne fails to develop Fanshawe's inner conflict. The reader is left confused and unsatisfied.

Finally it is important to note the clumsiness of the narrator in Fanshawe. He is evidently retelling the story at about an eighty years' remove from the events.

Although we are never told the source of his information about those events which he specifies are not recorded in the actual history of Harley College, his knowledge is detailed, and he presents it with little attention to the element of . Moreover, he is continually prone to make moral judgments about even the most insignificant characters; his pronouncements upon characters often tell us what is going to happen in a scene before he shows it.

In Fanshawe, Hawthorne was years away from developing a narrator who would dramatize the story, not simply tell it Chapter III: Walking in Hawthorne's First-Person Narratives

Of the ninety-seven short pieces written by Nathaniel

Hawthorne between 1828, when he published Fanshawe, and

1850, when The Scarlet Letter first appeared, forty-one employ a journey motif in a significant way. Fourteen of these have a first-person narrator who takes a walk either by himself or with a few companions. Most of this chapter will focus on these stories. But first, I will discuss seven other stories that record a situation in which the narrator has temporarily suspended a walk in order to watch his fellow travelers or to comment upon the journey that they share. These stories are generally called

"processionals" in Hawthorne scholarship.

The precise chronology of Hawthorne's stories, I should note, has never been established, although we know when all the stories were initially published and when and if they were collected later. Elizabeth Lathrop Chandler has attempted a chronology of the tales and romances

Hawthorne wrote before 1853; her dating, which is very vague, is based partly on evidence from Hawthorne's journals and partly from references in his letters. For some stories, there is a five-year difference between what she calls the earliest possible date of completion and the latest date, and she usually places "the most probable

^ Chandler, n.p.

78 79 date of composition" within the year before the actual publication of the story. In general, the order she gives for the composition of the stories follows the order of publication accepted in the Centenary Edition. The only real differences between Chandler's chronology and that of the Centenary Edition occur in the first-person narratives.

Chandler's ordering of the composition of the first- person tales written by Hawthorne differs from the order of publication only among the "earliest" first-person 2 narratives. Her ordering of the tales is significant because it names "Alice Doane's Appeal" as Hawthorne's earliest tale, an assertion that is strongly supported by more recent scholarship. Her dating for the sketches, however, is problematic since it implies that "Passages from a Relinquished Work" and "Fragments from the Journal of a Solitary Man" were composed together but independent of "My Visit to Niagara," "Sketches from Memory," and "Old

2 Chandler places the date of composition for "Alice Doane's Appeal" in 1825, some ten years before its publication. She maintains that Hawthorne's next story was "The Seven Vagabonds," which she believes was written in 1830 although it was not published until 1833. She believes that "Little Annie's Ramble" was written in 1834, "The Virtuoso's Collection" in 1841, "The Hall of Fantasy" in 1842, and "The Celestial Railroad" in 1843. She claims that the sketches "My Visit to Niagara," "Sketches from Memory," and "Old Ticonderoga" were all written in 1829, that "Passages from a Relinquished Work" and "Fragments from the Journal of a Solitary Man" were written in 1834, and that "Night Sketches" and "Footprints on the Seashore" were written in 1837. 80

Ticonderoga." This arrangement is supported neither by

internal evidence nor by recent scholarship. The

Centenary Edition records that "Passages from a

Relinquished Work" was published in 1834, "My Visit to

Niagara" and "Sketches from Memory" in 1835, "Old

Ticonderoga" in 1836, and "Fragments from the Journal of a

Solitary Man" in 1837. This arrangement implies that

these five stories are somehow interconnected, an

implication that is supported by scholarship relating to

the "Storyteller" collection that Hawthorne planned and of

which these sketches, along with "The Devil in

Manuscript," "Mr. Higginbottom's Catastrophe," and several

others are generally considered to be a part. While I

believe that the order of publication is also the order of

composition for the sketches and the third-person

narratives, I am inclined to follow Chandler in the

ordering of the first-person narrative tales because later

scholarship, which looks at stylistic evidence rather than

the vague references in Hawthorne's journals, indicates

that "Alice Doane's Appeal" is probably Hawthorne's first 3 .

Whether we look at the order in which the stories were composed or at their order of publication, we can

3 C.S.B. Swann, "’Alice Doane's Appeal,' or How to Tell a Story," Literature and History 5 (1977): 4-25; and J. Donald Crowley, *'The Unity of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales, Studies in American Fiction 1 (1973): 35-61. 81 observe Hawthorne's development in style and technique between the writing of Fanshawe and The Scarlet Letter, even though we cannot with exactness catalogue his constant reworking of plots, character types, themes, and symbols. We see in the first-person tales and sketches

Hawthorne's fascination with the development of a sophisticated, cosmopolitan, but intimate narrative voice. We thus watch the tone of his tales shift between the 1820s and early 1830s from explicitly didactic and moralistic to implicitly moral and ironically instructive. In all of the tales, the narrator is concerned with self-discovery, but in the later stories this discovery of self becomes both more believable and individualized.


Several stories, all of which have a first-person narrator, focus less on the narrator's journey than on his surrounding fellow-travelers, who in the course of each of these stories come to represent all of mankind. At the same time, no one other traveler is singled out for

1 attention; the journey of the group is more important than that of any individual. Like Terence Martin, I call these stories "processionals" because they emphasize the journey of life as mankind's shared situation and also because the narrator's journey is likewise not held up as more significant or instructive than any other. Several 82 critics have commented upon the processional nature of the crowd in Hawthorne. Among them, D. K. Anderson observes that, while the structure of the crowd varies greatly in its emphasis on individual and group, individual members generally lose their identity. He maintains that the crowds serve several psychological functions: "they magnify the emotions of individual characters; they bind the real and the unreal and they guide the emotional 4 response of the reader." Hyatt Waggoner points out that journey-centered sketches like "The Procession of Life" and "Main Street" differ from the tales "not so much in 5 'lacking plot' as in failing to develop character."

Arlin Turner remarks that Hawthorne's normal structural pattern involved a "catalog or procession or sequence of g scenes." Nicolaus Mills somewhat unfairly notes that

the crowd has a shared profile. We only begin

to describe it when we note that in background

and class it represents most, if not all, of

society. Far more telling is the fact that,

despite its representative nature, this crowd

does not act as though it were "the people."

4 D.K. Anderson, "Hawthorne's Crowds," Nineteenth Century Fiction 7 (1952), 45-46.

5 Hyatt H. Waggoner, Hawthorne: A New Evaluation (Cambridge: Press, 1955), p. 89.

® Turner, Hawthorne Introduction p. 104. 83

Its loyalty is to the status quo, to established

institutions, and it takes its clues from those

in authority. It puts enormous energy into 7 levelling whoever or whatever is exceptional.

While the crowd often displays these qualities when it is placed in opposition to an isolated individual, the stories in which the crowd is the central character reflect a different situation. These "processionals,"

Terence Martin observes, "confront generally human problems in a general way. No personal drama could be portrayed effectively by means of such a form which explores subjects in themselves and achieves latitude by

Q expedient of perspective." The processionals' view of a shared condition is carried over into the romances, where it becomes an attitude that must be recognized and accepted by an individual character as having some benefit before he can solve the riddle of his own situation.

In the processionals, Hawthorne uses a narrator who describes groups of people traveling along both the literal and figurative highways of life. Sometimes, as in

"Sights from a Steeple" or "Howe's Masquerade," the narrator too makes the journey, having stopped to rest for

7 Nicolaus Mills, "The Crowd in the Classic American Novel," Centennial Review 26, 1 (1952), 64-65.

O Terence Martin, "The Method of Hawthorne's Tales," Hawthorne Centenary Essays, edited by Roy Harvey Pearce (University, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1964), p. 15. 84 only a moment. The wayfarers are sometimes aware of their shared lot, sometimes not, but their situation is always recounted by a narrator who jis aware of it and is torn between continuing his passive observation and returning to active participation in the journey. However, he never remains permanently separate from the journeying masses.

All of these stories point to the journey as both an individual and a communal action and establish a basis for discussing the journey imagery in the other stories.

There are seven stories that I will treat as processionals: "Sights from a Steeple," "Sunday at Home,"

"The Toll-Gatherer's Day," "Howe's Masquerade," "The

Procession of Life," "The Intelligence Office," and


Hawthorne transforms and develops the uses he makes of the narrator in the processionals. It is especially obvious that the narrator's relationship to society in the later processionals is less deliberately separated from the people he observes than in the earlier ones. The narrators in the earlier tales— "Sights from a Steeple,"

"Sunday at Home," and "The Toll-Gatherer's Day"— are deliberately placed outside of the processions that they observe, and their connection to the procession is established by their stated intention or desire to return to the activities they normally share with their fellows.

In the later stories, however, the narrators' relationship 85 to the community is taken for granted and not physically described. This transition implies that one need not remove himself entirely from the society of his fellows in order to observe something about the nature of their life.

The imagery of the journey in these stories also undergoes a change. The strictly utilitarian journeys in the earlier stories teach the travelers little about their lives. It is not until "Howe's Masquerade" that we observe a character acquiring some new understanding of his life as a result of his journey. While not every character is presumed to learn something from his walk, the potential is there in the later stories for every traveler to learn.

"Sights from a Steeple," "Sunday at Home," and "The

Toll Gatherer's Day" are told by a narrator who, for one reason or another, has stepped back from his walk precisely in order to observe his fellow men, all of whom are engaged in the journey that he is not presently taking. In "Sights from a Steeple," the narrator has climbed to the top of a church spire, where he can see the whole town beneath him. He thinks that "the most desirable mode of existence might be that of a spiritualized Paul Pry, hovering invisible round man and woman, witnessing their deeds, searching into their hearts, borrowing brightness from their felicity, and shade from their sorrow, and retaining no emotion peculiar to himself" (NHCE IX, 192). As he watches the 86 townspeople, he observes, "How various are the situations of the people covered by the roofs beneath me, and how diversified are the events at this moment befalling them!"

(NHCE IX, 196) A young man takes a walk with two pretty girls while a merchant runs his errands. Nearby are some marching soldiers and the boys who mimic them; they are interrupted by a passing funeral. A sudden cloudburst sends the various groups running for shelter; the young people collide with the merchant, the girls' father, who leads his daughters home. As time passes, the narrator recognizes the discomfort inherent, not only in his situation on the steeple, but also in his isolation: "I love not my station here aloft, in the midst of the tumult which I am powerless to direct or quell, with the blue lightning wrinkling on my brow, and the thunder muttering its first awful syllables in my ear. I will descend. . .

I prepare to resume my station on lower earth" (NHCE

IX, 198).

In "Sunday at Home," the narrator stands at his curtained window as his neighbors make their way to the nearby church. He believes that the church "has no kindred with the houses above which it towers; it looks down into the narrow thoroughfare, the lonelier, because the crowd are elbowing their passage at its base" (NHCE

IX, 20). Nevertheless, he compares its benevolent effect to the "Sabbath sunshine." He watches old and young, 87 solemn and merry as they make their way toward the chapel, followed at last by the stern and somber clergyman, and he claims to gain more from meditating on the community than with it, for his "inner man goes constantly to church"

(NHCE IX, 21). The center of the story involves not so much the narrator's vivid descriptions of the individuals and their environs as his meditation on his own disinclination to join them. "Every loiterer," he observes, "has gone in, and the street lies asleep in the quiet sun, while a feeling of loneliness comes over me, and brings also an uneasy sense of neglected privileges and duties" (NHCE IX, 23). The narrator is aware that he distances himself from the community at least in the flesh, but he reconciles himself to them by reiterating his moral commitment, demonstrated by his affection for the church and'the sunlight that shines on it: "The church is a symbol of religion. May its site, which was consecrated on the day when the first tree was felled, be kept holy forever, a spot of solitude and peace, amid the trouble and vanity of our week-day world! There is a moral, and a religion too, even in the silent walls. And, may the steeple still point heavenward, and be decked with the hallowed sunshine of the Sabbath morn!" (NHCE IX, 26)

In "The Toll Gatherer's Day," the narrator sits in the Toll House, watches his fellow men pass by, and wonders about their journeys. He explains that for a person like himself, "whose instinct bids him rather to pore over the current of life, than to plunge into its tumultuous waves, no undesirable retreat were a toll-house beside some thronged thoroughfare of the land" (NHCE IX,

205). He appreciates the connection it provides with the parade of life that passes by while affording him a refuge from the hectic of that parade. "In youth," he says,

"perhaps, it is good for the observer to run about the earth— to leave the track of his footsteps far and wide— to mingle himself with the action of numberless vicissitudes"; but finally it is best "in some calm solitude, to feed a musing spirit on all that he has seen and felt" (NHCE IX, 205). Already Hawthorne's narrator points to the importance of reflecting upon one's journey as a process of learning. But the toll-gatherer's reverie is broken when he "looks seaward, and discerns the light­ house kindling on a far island, and the stars, too, kindling in the sky, as if but a little way beyond; and mingling reveries of heaven and resemblances of earth, the whole procession of mortal travellers, all the dusty pilgrimage which he has witnessed, seems like a flitting show of phantoms for his thoughtful soul to muse upon"

(NHCE IX, 211-12). His reflection upon his own previous journey is broken by the reality of the present one, which leads him then to contemplate the larger journey around him. Thus, the individual's walk is linked to the 89 communal walk as an equally fit undertaking and as an object for contemplation.

In all three of these stories, the narrators have sacrificed their own journeys, albeit temporarily, to observe others as they travel. Their actions parallel those of Wakefield, the protagonist of a third-person narrative who leaves his home and, for twenty years, spies from a room on the next street the life that could have been his. The situation of the steeple sitter, however unusual, is not so different from the observer of the

Sunday procession and the keeper of the toll road, both of whom may have taken more conventional vantage points from which to examine their fellows, but who have also sacrificed an immediate participation with humanity. In

"The Toll-Gatherer's Day," however, Hawthorne makes a particularly striking link between the individual and the communal journey on the road of life. And the narrator of

"Sunday at Home" looks forward to Clifford Pyncheon in The

House of the Seven Gables as he stands behind the curtained window, watching the busy street below and wishing he could rejoin humanity by leaping into the midst of the crowd. He is likewise ambivalent about his alienated situation. These three stories end unsatisfactorily because their narrators, unlike the narrators of later stories like "Night Sketches" or

"Footprints on the Seashore," have not yet decided to 90 return to society as participants.

"Howe's Masquerade" is the first of the processionals to present more than one central character reacting to the larger community. The narrator walks into the "old province house," the "mansion of the old royal governors of Massachusetts," where he is reminded of a scene which has "never been satisfactorily explained" (NHCE IX, 239,

243). During the siege of Boston, the royal governor,

Howe, gave a masquerade for the British officers and the royalists. That evening, a mysterious hooded drummer appeared at the ball while a procession of the previous governors, first the old Puritans, then the royalists, marched down the staircase and out of the door. Their exit symbolized, as Howe was told by one patriot sympathizer, that their time of government had passed.

Howe was at first amused, then incensed by the procession when the last governor— dressed like Howe himself but with his face shaded— came down the staircase and stopped before marching out the door. The governor strode up to him, intending to throw him out, but after looking him in the face, he withdrew and let the figure go out alone. A few days later, so the story concludes, a chastened Howe surrendered his city and left the governor's mansion to the victorious patriots.

The narrator presents the procession at Governor

Howe's masked ball as a lesson from the past, designed to 91 show the royalists a prophetic picture of their own situation. So, he implies, is Howe's story for us.

However, he concedes, "it is desperately hard work, when we attempt to throw the spell of hoar antiquity over localities with which the living world, and the day that is passing over us, have aught to do." He is glad, therefore, that the past has at least taught him its lesson, for he says, "As I glanced at the stately staircase, down which the procession of the old governors had descended, and as I emerged through the venerable portal, whence the figures had preceded me, it gladdened me to be conscious of a thrill of awe. Then diving through the narrow arch-way, a few strides transported me into the densest throng of Washington street" (NHCE IX,

255) .

"Howe's Masquerade" marks a change in the style of

Hawthorne's processionals, not only in the development of a more elaborate plot, but also in the relationships between what the narrator learns and how he shares it with the reader. Rather than tell the reader what he is supposed to learn as if he is being told by a narrator who already knows it, the narrator of "Howe's Masquerade" learns his lesson before the reader's eyes. This will be the narrator's procedure in the last three of Hawthorne's processionals, and likewise a hallmark of all of the first-person narratives of the 1840s. 92

Both "The Procession of Life" and "The Intelligence

Office" record a procession of people observed by a narrator who makes no attempt to place himself in relation to the procession. More a sketch than a tale, the former story overtly compares life to a great procession in which marchers associate themselves on the basis of superficial characteristics such as education and wealth. According to the narrator, "the grand difficulty results from the invariably mistaken principles on which the deputy- marshals seek to arrange this immense concourse of people, so much more numerous than those that train their interminable length through streets and highways in times of political excitement" (NHCE X, 207). He therefore proposes a new arrangement in which people would associate on the bases of their common disease, intellect, sorrow, guilt, or goodness. Even as he reclassifies humanity, the narrator is less and less pleased with the results of his arrangement because "the march of human life, that never paused before, is delayed by our attempt to re-arrange its order" (NHCE X, 218). At a total loss before he completes his rearrangement, he allows the many stragglers to

"connect themselves with whatever rank of the procession they shall find best adapted to their tastes and consciences" (NHCE X, 221). Looking for an appropriate

Grand-Marshall, the narrator recognizes that no one else but Death "could assume the guidance of a procession that 93 comprehends all humanity." He concludes that if some among the crowd should deem themselves classed amiss, they should "take to their hearts the comfortable truth, that

Death levels us all into one great brotherhood, and that another state of being will surely rectify the wrong of this" (NHCE X, 221). The story ends with the procession marching its noisy and cumbersome way into eternity*

The narrator of "The Intelligence Office" describes the Chief Intelligencer, whom people petition for wealth or happiness. "Scarcely an instant elapsed," he observes,

"without the appearance at the door of some individual from the busy population whose vicinity was manifested by so much buzz, and clatter, and outcry" (NHCE X, 322). One day a gentleman comes in searching for truth, but he is told that truth "is precisely the most rare pursuit that has ever come under . . . cognizance." The Chief

Intelligencer insists, "Most men seek to impose some cunning falsehood upon themselves for truth. But I can lend no help to your researches. You must achieve the miracle for yourself. At some unfortunate moment, you may find Truth at your side— or, perhaps, she may be mistily discerned, far in advance— or, possibly behind you" (NHCE

10, 335). Admitting that the Intelligence Office is a front for something else, the Intelligencer tells the seeker, "My agency in worldly action— my connection with the press, and tumult, and intermingling, and development of human affairs— is merely delusive. The desire of man's heart does for him whatever I seem to do. I am no minister of action, but the Recording Spirit!" (NHCE X,

336). "What further secrets were then spoken," the narrator claims, "remains a mystery; inasmuch as the roar of the city, the bustle of human business, the outcry of the jostling masses, the rush and tumult of man's life in its noisy and brief career, arose so high that it drowned the words of these two talkers. And whether they stood talking in the Moon, or in Vanity Fair, or in a city of this actual world, is more than I can say" (NHCE X, 336).

The narrator concludes that only the observant individual who takes the initiative to find meaning in his life will be successful in his search. Interestingly enough, a passive searcher like the narrator cannot hear the truths that the seeker is told by the Intelligencer; like the reader, he will have to undertake that discovery actively in his own behalf.

Hawthorne's last processional also portrays a group of people watching the procession of life rather than participating in it, and what they do not learn as a result of this passive observation is played for comic effect. The narrator observes,

In my daily walks along the principal street of

my native town, it has often occurred to me,

that, if its growth from infancy upward, and the vicissitude of characteristic scenes that have

passed along this thoroughfare, during the more

than two centuries of its existence, could be

presented to the eye in a shifting panorama, it

would be an exceedingly effective method of

illustrating the march of time. Acting on this

idea, I have contrived a certain pictorial

exhibition, somewhat in the nature of a puppet-

show, by means of which I propose to call up the

mult;form and many-colored Past before the

spectator, and show him the ghosts of his

forefathers, amid a succession of historic

incidents, with no greater trouble than the

turning of a crank (NHCE XI, 49).

He begins with the path the first settlers carved into the wilderness and shows its growth as successive generations widen it, build near it, and walk on it. It soon becomes a well-worn path and eventually a street. The narrator's magical transformation is interrupted several times by "an acidulous-looking gentleman in blue glasses, with bows of

Berlin steel, who has taken a seat at the extremity of the front row." The gentleman begins, "at this early stage of the exhibition, to criticise" (NHCE XI, 52). The narrator pleads with him to forbear because "Human art has its limits, and we must now and then ask a little aid from the spectator's imagination." 96

"You will get no such aid from mine," responds the critic. "I make it a point to see things precisely as they are. But come! go ahead!— the stage is waiting!"

(NHCE XI, 52) The gentleman grows increasingly restless with the display. "Here is a pasteboard figure," he says,

"such as a child would cut out of a card, with a pair of very dull scissors; and the fellow modestly requests us to see in it the prototype of hereditary beauty!" The narrator proclaims that the man has "not the proper point of view." He tells him that he sits "altogether too near to get the best effect of [his] pictorial exhibition"

(NHCE XI, 56-57). His interruptions continue while the narrator shows his procession to an attentive .

As he prepares to move his presentation from the present to the future, the show-box breaks and the strings and pulleys get stuck. As a substitute for his show, the narrator concludes by telling his audience, "I should have given the crank one other turn, and have brought out the future, showing you who shall walk the Main-street tomorrow, and perchance, whose funeral shall pass through it!" He says that anyone who is dissatisfied with the evening's entertainment may receive back the admission fee. "Then give me mine," cries the critic, stretching out his palm. "I said that your exhibition would prove a humbug, and so it has turned out. So hand over my quarter!" (NHCE XI, 81-82) To some degree, at least, the "acidulous-looking" gentleman is right: the diorama ij> made up of pasteboard figures. However, given the "moral" of the other processionals, we can see that Hawthorne intends the narrator of "Main-Street" and his show as touchstones for the individuals who observe them to learn from what they present. Such a reflection will benefit those who recognize it as part of their shared heritage and if they use its moral as a guide for their own journey. They ought not to remain motionless as their own destiny marches by— it is really fortuitous, if it was not intentional, that the narrator's show-box broke. Rather, they should take their own places on Main-Street and continue the march of time.

In the processionals, Hawthorne develops the iconography of the journey as it will relate to his later work, establishing the universal nature of the journey and its usefulness as a metaphor to describe human life. He insists on the importance of knowing "where" the procession has been in the past in order to remain with one's fellow travelers as they journey into the future. He likewise establishes the usefulness of stepping back momentarily from one's individual journey to observe the larger procession. He underscores the danger of stepping back permanently as well as the importance of always being willing to "move on." Hawthorne likewise determines the 98 narrative conventions that work well for the journey as theme. He moves his narrator away from the habit of telling the story and announcing its moral toward showing the story without overtly moralizing. As a result, the processionals develop from relatively short sketches to longer stories, with characters whose voices come to represent different attitudes toward the journey and the life it represents.


Hawthorne uses the first-person journey narratives to do some very specific things, namely, to comment upon the individual's relationship to the community and the appropriate attitude one should have toward that relationship. In these first-person narratives, the walk that the narrator takes involves his recognition of a brush with destiny, either his own or that of his companions. Likewise, the narrator in most of the stories recognizes some aspect of his past that binds him to the community or to a societal responsibility. Although there are differences among them, the narrators of these stories come to remarkably similar discoveries as a result of their walks.

Hawthorne's narrators develop a different viewpoint as he grows in skill as a writer. However, critics interested in Hawthorne's work with narrative confine themselves to a discussion of only one or two stories. J. 99

Donald Crowley observes, for example, that Hawthorne's revision of "Alice Doane" as "Alice Doane's Appeal" unquestionably made his framework more important than the q story itself. Like other writers, Crowley is fascinated with the revision of this third-person story to include a first-person frame. So is Thomas Pauly, who observes how the revisions of "Alice Doane" call attention to "how [the narrator's] setting predisposes him and his auditors for a presentation of the tale."'*'0 C. S. B. Swann says that the narrator of "Alice Doane's Appeal" shows himself "self­ consciously aware of his readers and his listeners, and part of his problem is to find a way of telling the 11 readers how and why he told the girls a story."

Hawthorne seems always to have been concerned with this problem, although he also seems less intense in his need to control which moral the reader learned or, rather, whether the reader learned as he read the story. Harry

Levin believes that "the first-person speaks more freely in the sketches" while, "in the tales, the author is more 12 impersonal." But the relationship between narrator and

f g Crowley, "Introduction," p. 113.

Pauly, p. 496.

11 Swann,o p. ^6.

12 Levin, p. 46. 100 story is more complex and more significant than Levin allows; there is an impersonal, artificial tone in

Hawthorne's earlier work, regardless of point of view.

The tone mellows and becomes more intimate as Hawthorne develops his craft. In the earlier stories, regardless of the setting, the narrator possesses omniscient vision: he knows everything that is going to happen, and his knowledge affects the way he explains his story to the audience. When discussing the motives of characters, he is a moralist who explains what the reader should learn from the story he is reading. He is still like the narrator in Fanshawe. In the later stories, however, the narrator restricts himself to a more limited viewpoint; he does not always act as if he knows what will happen next and, as a result, he is forced to explain his reasoning process and the motivation for the choices he makes.

Usually, then, he has no need to tell the reader what he should have learned— he knows the careful reader has learned along with the narrator.

The first-person narrative journeys, then, develop in point of view from a narrator who already knows everything and who thus merely walks without any recognition of the potential for transcendent experience, to a narrator who learns as he walks and whose journey therefore becomes significant. Hawthorne began working on this development fairly early in his story-writing period, and only a few 101 of the first-person narratives display many problems with the omniscient narrator, mostly in his explicit moralizing at the end of the story. Generally speaking, with each successive story, the proportion of moralizing to storytelling diminishes; and in the last few of the first- person narratives, the explicit moral disappears altogether.

There is another trend in Hawthorne's first-person narratives. The settings of the journeys are either realistic, as in "My Visit to Niagara" and "Night

Sketches," or they are fantastic, as in "The Vision of the

Fountain," and "The Celestial Railroad." In general, improbable situations are the settings for the earlier stories, realistic situations for the middle group in this period, and the imaginary or dream settings for the last stories that Hawthorne composed in the first person.

There are an equal number of tales and sketches in this group; and, while Hawthorne wrote no sketches (which were always in the first-person) after 1837, he continued to experiment with a first-person narrator in his stories for at least another five years.

Hawthorne wrote fourteen first-person journey narratives— seven tales and seven sketches— and they show the development of his narrator's perspective from an unlimited to a limited omniscient viewpoint. The sketches are often set in realistic settings, and they show 102

Hawthorne developing a more sophisticated sense of the relationship between the walk the narrator takes and what he learns from it. The earlier stories portray an individual discovering that he ought to observe and learn for himself while on a walk. The later stories take this knowledge for granted and show not only that one learns about what he sees while on a walk, but also how to use walking as a contemplative tool for evaluating one's own life. The later stories assume that any walk can function as a metaphor for the larger journey through life.

Together, these first-person sketches— "Passages from a

Relinquished Work," "My Visit to Niagara," "Sketches from

Memory," "Old Ticonderoga," "Fragments from the Journal of a Solitary Man," "Night Sketches," and "Footprints on the

Seashore"— establish the walk as an act necessary to one's understanding of existence and for perceiving one's place in the world.

The seven first-person narrative journey tales show

Hawthorne's development as a storyteller, as well as the development of his material. The narrators of the earliest stories are very manipulative, maintaining a tight control over the stories through highly suggestive descriptions of the characters. They not only enable the reader to visualize the other characters, but also force him to judge characters before they are seen in action.

The later stories are less judgmental, often withholding information that would make possible a definite judgment about the characters until the reader has been able to observe them for himself. As a result, the narrators of the later tales do not conclude their stories with the same kind of moralizing as the earlier narrators, who generally sum up their stories and explain to the reader what he or she should have learned. The journey setting that Hawthorne uses also develops. In the earlier tales—

"Alice Doane's Appeal," "The Seven Vagabonds," "The Vision of the Fountain," and "Little Annie's Ramble"— the setting combines the everyday and the fantastic to symbolize an extraordinary experience. In the three later stories—

"The Virtuoso's Collection," "The Hall of Fantasy," and

"The Celestial Railroad"— the setting also combines the everyday and the fantastic, but the fantasy is internalized symbolically either by having the narrator step off the street into a museum or by having him relate the occurrences of a dream. The journey to knowledge is still a process, but it is located in the journeyer's own mind or heart. These stories, while they establish the importance and the necessity of the journey, also demonstrate the temptation simply to travel and thus to acquire knowledge for its own sake. The first-person narrative journey tales show Hawthorne's development of the journey as a metaphor for both the acquisition of knowledge and the concomitant danger of being attracted to 104 knowledge for its own sake. These stories also portray the universality of the possibility for acquiring such knowledge since walking is something that everyone does.

Although Hawthorne wrote tales and sketches alternately during the 1830s, in the treatment that follows I shall discuss the sketches first and then the tales, each in chronological order.

F. 0. Matthiessen comments of "Passages from of

Relinquished Work" that "Hawthorne deliberately tried not" 13 to make the narrator "identical with himself."

Hawthorne was mostly successful at this endeavor; while several details of the story resonate with events from

Hawthorne's own life, the central situation does not. And the details are sufficiently minor not to distract the reader from the story. it is about a youth whose strict guardian so disapproves of his artistic inclinations that he feels forced to run away. He intends to make his living as a storyteller, a profession which he tells us had been "suggested, a year or two before, by an encounter with several merry vagabonds in a showman's wagon, where they and I had sheltered ourselves during a summer shower.

The project was not more extravagant than most which a young man forms" (NHCE X, 407-408). He is enchanted with the idea of being on the road, which seems to him a dream world. At first, he is cavalier about leaving behind all

13 Matthiessen, p. 225. he knows:

No tears fell from my eyes among the dew-drops

of the morning; nor does it occur to me that I

heaved a sigh. In truth, I had never felt such

a delicious excitement, nor known what freedom

was till that moment, when I gave up my home,

and took the whole world in exchange, fluttering

the wings of my spirit, as if I had flown from

one star to another through the universe. I

waved my hand toward the dusky village, bade it

a joyous farewell, and turned away, to follow

any path but that which might lead me back (NHCE

X, 410).

On the road, he meets a serious young preacher; the two travel together, practicing their trades, at first with little success, but later with more luck. The narrator observes that the young preacher is easily discouraged by the luke-warm reception he gets when he tries to preach:

"I never knew a person, not even a woman, so unfit to roam the world in solitude, as he was— so painfully shy, so easily discouraged by slight obstacles, and so often depressed by a weight within himself" (NHCE X, 415). One day, the youth receives a letter which, by the handwriting, he knows is from his guardian. He burns it unopened, never allowing himself to know if he has been blessed or cursed, preferring to live with a melancholy sense of isolation in the practice of his art. He explains, "It is fixed in my mind, and was so at the time, that he had addressed me in a style of paternal wisdom, and love, and reconciliation, which I could not have resisted, had I but risked the trial. The thought still haunts me, that then I made my irrevocable choice between good and evil fate." He and the young preacher leave the next day, while the minister tries "with tears, to convince [him] of the guilt and madness of [his] life"

(NHCE X, 421).

As is typical of Hawthorne's early stories, the narrator sets out on a lengthy journey which teaches him nothing. We note this when he tells us that he "writes the book for the sake of the moral" (NHCE X, 409) and when he explains how he has learned to regret burning the parson's letter, but we do not see him learning the lesson, and we do not know how he came to his conclusion.

The journey seems to be the reason for his exile, but we do not watch him observe anything more than the scenery while he travels.

We do watch the narrator react to Eliakim, the young preacher who accompanies him and whose plight so closely mirrors his own. He recognizes the pitiable condition of this lonely, isolated individual, but not that Eliakim's situation is also his. He fails to see the many parallels in their lives, and so the one most obvious discovery he 107 might have made goes unobserved.

Three stories take place within the context of vacation journeys which explicitly presuppose a homecoming. Edwin Fussell associates these stories with the tradition of "western writing."^4 Arlin Turner observes that they seem to have been derived from the same vacation, one that Hawthorne took to northern New 15 England. Two of the stories emphasize the importance of self-discovery. The narrator of "My Visit to Niagara" approaches his destination with great enthusiasm.

"Never," he observes, "did a pilgrim approach Niagara with a deeper enthusiasm than mine. I had lingered away from it, and wandered to other scenes, because my treasury of aniticpated enjoyments, comprising all the wonders of the world, had nothing else so magnificent, and I was loth to exchange the pleasures of hope for those of memory so soon" (NHCE XI, 281). However, his enthusiasm soon turns to trepidation when he begins to fear that he will be disappointed in Niagara Falls if it does not resemble the descriptions he has read of it. Indeed, he experiences great disappointment at his first sight of the Falls.

Nevertheless, he stays on, spending several days climbing over and walking through the pathways to the vista.

14 Fussell, p. 79.

15 Turner, Hawthorne Introduction pp. 25-26. Eventually, he realizes that the experience of Niagara itself must teach him how to view the place. He sees that his mind "had struggled to adapt these false conceptions to the reality," and, finding the effort vain, he experiences a "wretched sense of disappointment" that

"weighted [him] down" (NHCE XI, 284). He is brought to a real knowledge of the Falls by the very action of walking around and through them. He writes, "Gradually, and after much contemplation, I came to know, by my own feelings, that Niagara is indeed a wonder of the world, and not the less wonderful, because time and thought must be spent in comprehending it. . . . Night after night I dreamed of it, and was gladdened every morning by the consciousness of a growing capacity to enjoy it" (NHCE XI, 285). He finally understands that his reaction is in fact the only source of genuine knowledge that he can have of the Falls.

"My Visit to Niagara" suggests that no one else can provide an individual with a ready and easy way to knowledge.

In "Sketches from Memory," the narrator tells several short anecdotes about a lengthy trip he takes. "The Notch of the White Mountains" is the only sketch in this group that includes a walk; in it, the narrator comments on the superiority of walking through the area he tours rather than riding, observing how the greater time one must take to travel on foot enables him to know better the area he has visited. He also observes how much more valuable is the company at the end of the day. An important element of this story is the continued emphasis on the power of the past to teach one about the present and the preference for walking rather than traveling by some other method.

The relative weakness of "Sketches from Memory" (a weakness that is perhaps the best indication that the story is an early one) lies in its failure to present a narrator who learns about himself as he walks.

In "Old Ticonderoga," the narrator visits the old fort, walking through the ruins and imagining its past appearance and inhabitants. He marvels that a young officer visitng the place can still see the design of the old battlements and make any sense of the zig-zagging walls and ditches. However, he implies that the young man's vision is false because he does not see what is really there, but what others have told him was there. He contrasts the young officer's view with his own:

His description of Ticonderoga would be as

accurate as a geometrical theorem, and as barren

of the that has clustered around its

decay. I viewed Ticonderoga as a place of

ancient strength, in ruins for half a century;

where the flags of three nations had

successively waved, and none waved now; where

armies had struggled, so long ago that the bones 110

of the slain were mouldered; where peace had

found a heritage in the forsaken haunts of War

(NHCE XI, 187).

On another visit, the narrator wanders off by himself to determine what the fort must have been like on the basis of what he can see. He willingly allows the magic of the place to do its work, to conjure up the past and teach him about the present. He suggests that only an old soldier, like one he saw when he first arrived at Ticonderoga, would be an appropriate companion for a ramble through the place because he would remember the life the inhabitants had lived. After his walk, the narrator seats himself on top of the barracks and lets his mind wander: "I closed my eyes on Ticonderoga in ruins, and cast a dream-like glance over pictures of the past, and scenes of which this spot had been the theatre. At first, my fancy saw only the stern hills, lonely lakes, and venerable woods" (NHCE

XI, 189). Then he realizes the power that the past exerts over the present:

How forcibly the lapse of time and change of

circumstances came home to my apprehension!

Banner would never wave again, nor trumpet roar,

nor blood be shed, nor trumpet stir up a

soldier's heart, in this old fort of

Ticonderoga. Tall trees had grown out of its

ramparts, since the last garrison marched out, Ill

to return no more, or only at some dreamer's

summons, gliding from the twilight past to

vanish among realities (NHCE XI, 191).

The narrator is lost in his reverie until the sounds of the present call him back from the past, but the spell is not broken before his short sojourn has taught him something about the community to which he belongs.

The fort teaches the narrator to realize where he has been— to reflect upon his ancestors' establishment of the

American nation. The narrator learns, however, not by passively listening to some history lesson or a lecture on engineering. He actively explores the place on foot and then recalls what he has seen. Likewise, he teaches his reader, not by telling him about what he has seen, but by showing him how the walk through Old Ticonderoga has changed his vision. To do this, the narrator exercises considerable restraint: he withholds the conclusion he has reached about his experience and lets the experiences demonstrate the conclusion, just the opposite of the narrator's method in "Passages from a Relinquished Work," written just a few years before.

"Fragments from the Journal of a Solitary Man" connects all of these stories. The frame narrator introduces excerpts from the journal of his late friend, the writer Oberon, whose hopes for a career and travel never materialized. He died frustrated and unknown but at 112 peace with his fellow men. The narrator presents Oberon's life in the form of a journey, in keeping with his hope to travel to exotic places.

On the first part of his journey, Oberon flees from the influence of his family and community in order to

"discover" himself and seek his fortune. The fortune is not forthcoming, and Oberon loses both his sense of identity and his ability to relate to others along the way. He finally realizes that his "place" might be back at home, and he eventually succeeds at returning. Broken in body and chastened in spirit, Oberon determines to spend his final days discouraging young men from the temptations of the solitary life of wandering, saying he will "beseech [them] not to follow an eccentric path nor, by stepping aside from the highways of human affairs, to relinquish [their] claim upon human sympathy" (NHCE XI,

327) .

The narrator observes that Oberon had "evidently cherished a secret hope that some impulse would at length be given him, or that he would muster sufficient energy of will to return into the world, and act a wiser and happier part than his former one. But life never called the dreamer forth; it was Death that whispered him" (NHCE XI,

313). Oberon felt that he was called to undertake a great quest in which he meant "to visit every region of the earth, except the Poles and central Africa." In spite of 113 this desire, he laments, "The utmost limit of my wanderings has been little more than six hundred miles from my native village. Thus, in whatever way I consider my life, or what must be termed such, I cannot feel as if

I have lived at all" (NHCE XI, 315). The narrator reports that Oberon "ran away from the home that sheltered him, expressing openly his determination to die sooner than return to the detested spot." His loneliness on the road brings on his final illness, which in turn effects his reconciliation to mankind. He rises from his sickbed "a better man, and determined upon a speedy self-atonement by returning to his native town." The narrator tells us that

"he lived, solitary and sad, but forgiven and cherished by his friends till the day he died" (NHCE XI, 319).

Oberon seems to be the first-person narrator of the other sketches, "Passages from a Relinquished Work," "My

Visit to Niagara," "Sketches from Memory," and "Old

Ticonderoga," as well as the story "The Seven Vagabonds."

He also appears as a character in "The Devil in

Manuscript," whose narrator mentions passages from these stories in his biographical sketch of Oberon. The Oberon of these stories says that the short trips he recounts in them are part of a larger journey he undertook and that he hopes to make all of them part of a great work. The stories vary on several points, making their relationship difficult to reconstruct. For example, "My Visit to 114

Niagara," "Sketches from Memory," and "Old Ticonderoga" are much lighter in tone than the melancholic "Fragments" and "Passages." Further, "Fragments" and "Passages" are told by a speaker who relates Oberon's story as would a third-person narrator; Hawthorne spends a great deal of time in these stories working with his narrators' relationship to the material.

In both "Passages from a Relinquished Work" and

"Fragments from the Journal of a Solitary Man," the narrator's use of the walk is awkwardly related to the lesson he inculcates to the audience at the end. The narrator/protagonist in both the stories is a naive fellow whose initial reason for walking is to flee from the community. His decision to return is a mechanical one, prescribed more by the author's desire to tell a moral tale than the narrator's own discovery that he has a reason to return. In spite of their underdevelopment, the stories suggest the major theme Hawthorne would pursue throughout his career: the tragic results that follow an individual's isolation from the community by some act or attitude of his own making. Whether he rejects the community out of fear or out of pride, the individual himself is the only possible source of reconciliation to humanity. No one can help him "adjust" to society: he must choose to be a part of it.

The last two of Hawthorne's journey sketches are also 115 the most sophisticated. Both "Night Sketches" and

"Footprints on the Seashore" have a better-developed sense of plot and character than earlier sketches, and both use an additional motif to emphasize the instructive nature of the journey.

Henry James called "Night Sketches" the "light, familiar record of a walk under an umbrella, at the end of a long, dull, rainy day, through the sloppy, ill-paved streets of a country town, where the rare-gas lamps twinkle in the large puddles and the blue jars shine 16 through the vulgar drizzle." While Hawthorne's sketch does show the kind of meticulous care for detail that

James's description implies, it is more complex than James believes. Hyatt Waggoner rightly observes that "Night

Sketches" takes us "to the center of Hawthorne's religious sensibility and reveals much about the qualitative aspects of his beliefs. . . . The speaker's night walk into the rain and the scenes he notes are emblematic of man's journey through life as the speaker makes increasingly 17 clear throughout and states at the end."

"Night Sketches" opens with the narrator's suggestion that, on a rainy day, the most enjoyable occupation one can make of the time is to stay shut up indoors with

16 James, pp. 31-32.

17 Hyatt Waggoner, "Art and Belief," in Pearce, Essays, p. 180. 116 several books. Travel books, he says, are the most appropriate reading matter since they best divert the reader from the gloominess at hand. But as good as they are, even their pleasure fails. By nightfall, the narrator tells us, "A gloomy sense of unreality depresses my spirits, and impels me to venture out, before the clock shall strike bedtime, to satisfy myself that the world is not entirely made up of such shadowy materials, as have busied me throughout the day. A dreamer may dwell so long among , that the things without him will seem as unreal as those within." As he sets out, he has "a few misgivings." "I look upward," he says, "and discern no sky, not even an unfathomable void, but only a black, impenetrable nothingness, as though heaven and all its lights were blotted from the system of the universe" (NHCE

IX, 427). Nevertheless, he is determined to brave the night. He compares the cold discomfort of the dark to his warm, cheery hearth and sees the remnants of human artifice and the signs of life all around him. The buildings seem animated but hostile and the people, withdrawn and self-consumed. It is only in the windows of peoples' homes, where he can see families gathered around their evening fires, that he glimpses any signs of hospitality. In spite of the beckoning warmth, he continues on to the last streetlamp of the town. "The lamp," he says, "throws down a circle of red light around 117 me; and, twinkling onward from corner to corner, I discern other beacons, marshaling my way to a brighter scene"

(NHCE IX, 428). He considers the lamps emblems of "the deceptive glare, which mortals throw around their doorsteps in the moral world, thus bedazzling themselves till they forget the impenetrable obscurity that hems them in, and that can be dispelled only by radiance from above"

(NHCE IX, 429). When he reaches the edge of the town, he stops, going no farther than the last lamp, which

"struggles feebly with the darkness, like the farthest star that stands sentinel on the borders of uncreated space. It is strange what sensations of sublimity may spring from a very humble source" (NHCE IX, 431-32).

The narrator draws a moral from a stranger venturing beyond the edge of town carrying a lantern to light his way. The traveler, he tells us, "Fears not to tread the dreary path before him, because his lantern, which was kindled at the side of his home, will light him back to that same fireside again. And thus we, night wanderers through a stormy and dismal world, if we bear the lamp of faith, enkindled at a celestial fire, it will surely lead us home to the heaven whence radiance was borrowed" (NHCE

IX, 432).

The narrator characterizes himself as a "looker-on in life" (NHCE IX, 430) who will not follow the traveler with the lantern, even though that lantern would be able to 118 light his way home; he believes that he must look about for himself and carry his own link with the world. He maintains, moreover, that each individual must choose whether or not to carry the light that will bring him back home. "Night Sketches" adds an important coda to

Hawthorne's journey ethos. The story acknowledges the power of the journey to tempt the traveler away from the society to which he belongs. The traveler with his lantern, representing his link to the community, stands in contrast to the narrator, who carries no light and may travel only to the limits of the community. However pleasant his walk, he must go back unitl he is better prepared to "re-member" himself.

Hawthorne deliberately uses the night setting in this story to enhance the mystical qualities of his narrator's walk. This choice shows Hawthorne's greater control of his storytellling powers as he mixes elements from the literature of travel with the elements of fiction.

"Footprints on the Seashore" also combines elements of reality and fiction. Arlin Turner observes that in writing it Hawthorne had a notebook account open before him and took from it "not only items in the scene and his 18 response to them but also exact phrasing." Roberta

Weldon remarks that the essay shares much of Thoreau's philosophy of walking, although it antedates by five years

18 Turner, Hawthorne Biography p. 95. 119

Thoreau's first published excursion. She says that

"Footprints on the Seashore," like so much of the literature of travel, is structured as "a sensitive observer's account of an excursion through a landscape.

It is impossible to read the sketch without recognizing that the author is attempting to structure a description of both an outward and an inward journey." Weldon also observes that "the literal walk comes to objectify the quest for self awareness and for some knowledge of its meaning.

The narrator of "Footprints on the Seashore" is openly willing to make his way back to humanity. But he occasionally finds that he needs a day of solitude, and so he is "drawn to the seashore" because the ocean offers nourishment for the spirit and a refuge from the busy world (NHCE IX, 451). He says that one of the advantages to a walk on the seashore is the traveler's ability to see where he has been. By tracking our footprints in the sand, the narrator says, "we track our own nature in its wayward course, and steal a glance upon it when it never dreams of being so observed. Such glances always make us wiser" (NHCE IX, 454). And he likewise observes that the benefits of his day's solitude remain with him: "When, at noontide, I tread the crowded streets, the influence of this day will still be felt; so that I shall walk among

19 Weldon, pp. 129-130, 131. 120 men kindly and as a brother, with affection and sympathy, but yet shall not melt into the indistinguishable mass of human kind" (NHCE IX, 461). Refreshed and re-oriented to the life around him, the narrator grows lonesome, missing the company of others, and so he returns to the presence of near acquaintances. His reunion makes him glad that he has spent the day alone, for it proves to be the sweetest moment of the day.

The narrator in "Footprints" comes closer than any of the others we have examined so far to proclaiming a moral purpose for his walk. Unlike the narrator of "Night

Sketches," the walker of "Footprints on the Seashore" accepts the lesson he has learned and chooses gladly to return to the community without acknowledging, and perhaps without experiencing, the temptation to permanent exile.

The sketches that record journeys and walks

Hawthorne at work refining his method and his material.

He develops his ability to use the process of walking as a metaphor for the discovery of knowledge, and he finds the tone his narrator needs to address an audience with intimacy but without condescension. While the viewpoint of the sketches is often, Harry Levin notes, that of the onlooker, Hawthorne begins in the sketches to move that ✓ onlooker back into the world of activity, becoming more certain, as Quentin Anderson puts it, that "only in 121 20 society, despite its faults, can we become human."

While Hawthorne would continue to insist upon the need for occasional solitude and reflection, he would at the same time insist that the state of solitude must not be allowed to cause a permanent break with humanity.


The first-person journey stories that Hawthorne wrote show many of the same developments as the processionals and the sketches: Hawthorne grows into his use of walking as a metaphor for the process of discovery. His characters learn about themselves and the world in the course of their walks, and the reader gets to watch this process rather than hear about it. His narrators become less "preachy" and more intimate; knowing less, they also need to learn from the journey. These tales share several elements with the other first-person narratives: they demonstrate Hawthorne's increasing ability to combine elements of fiction to tell his story. He works with an ever-increasing number of characters, who speak with increasingly diverse voices of the world around them and thus demonstrate Hawthorne's growing awareness of the complexity of the journey imagery he uses.

"Alice Doane's Appeal" is probably Hawthorne's most extensively reworked tale. While Seymour Gross calls it

20 Levin, p. 45; Quentin Anderson, The Imperial Self (New York, 1971), p. ix. 122

"technically" Hawthorne's "least characteristic tale,"

Donald Crowley points out that, as published, the story

seems to be a revision of an earlier version of the same

material, told entirely by a third-person narrator, which

Crowley conjecturally titles "Alice Doane." Gross

believes that the extant version of the story "may

indicate Hawthorne's revisional technique: passages of an

indelicate dramatic nature were replaced by summary

narrative, and a storyteller framework was dropped over

the tale in an awkward attempt to justify the 21 preponderance of summarisation."

Later critics differ with Gross and believe that

Hawthorne's revisions are not so much concessions to

propriety as they are revisions for emphasis and style.

Donald Crowley says that Hawthorne, in his revision of

"Alice Doane" as "Alice Doane's Appeal," "unquestionably

made his framework more important than the story itself,"

and Thomas Pauly remarks that the narrator of the frame

"describes Gallows hill . . . [and] calls attention to how

his setting predisposes him and his auditors for a 22 presentation of the tale." Claiming that Hawthorne

fragmented his narrator's story because "he sees that it

21 Seymour Gross, "Hawthorne's ’Alice Doane's Appeal,'" Nineteenth Century Fiction 10 (1955), 232, 234; Crowley, "Unity," p. 113.

22 Crowley, "Unity," p. 113; Pauly, p. 496. doesn't, can't and shouldn't work as a whole because of the context in which it exists," C. S. B. Swann maintains that Hawthorne's intent is to make his readers aware of 23 "why he told the girls a story." I believe that

Hawthorne likewise intends to show how the narrator's purpose changes when he begins to see that he cannot teach the girls what he has learned without giving them the opportunity to learn it for themselves.

"Alice Doane's Appeal" begins on "on a pleasant afternoon of June," when, the narrator tells us, "it was

[his] good fortune to be the companion of two young ladies in a walk" (NHCE XI, 266). The trio walks out of town to

Gallow's Hill, where he reads them a story. He takes great pains to describe the setting in which his listeners hear the story: "All the grass, and everything that should nourish man or beast, has been destroyed by [a] vile and ineradicable weed: its tufted roots make the soil their own, and permit nothing else to vegetate among them; so that a physical curse may be said to have blasted the spot" (NHCE XI, 266). Observing his companions' reaction to the place, the narrator notes how they "caught all the melancholy associations of the scene, yet these could but imperfectly overcome the gayety of girlish spirits. Their emotions came and went with quick vicissitude, and sometimes combined to form a peculiar and

23 Swann, pp. 9, 6. 124 delicious excitement, the mirth brightening the gloom into a sunny shower of feeling, and a rainbow in the mind"

(NHCE XI, 268). He begins his tale about a brother who, in a fit of jealousy, has murdered his sister's beloved.

The dead man turns out to be their estranged brother, and so the girl is suspect not only of impurity but also of incest. To exonerate herself, the girl persuades her brother to go with her to the dead man's grave, where a host of devils and the ghosts of all the guilty dead wait to witness her damnation, in the midst of these witnesses, the girl'bids her dead lover/brother to prove her innocence, which he does as his ghost appears to proclaim that her virtue remained uncompromised and that he had lied to her jealous other brother.

Most of Alice Doane's story, especially in its moments of high drama— such as Leonard Doane's discovery of his sister's liaison with Walter Brome, Brome's murder, and Alice's absolution— is summarized by the narrator for the reader. For the narrative of the story, he substitutes a description of his listeners' response; he obviously hopes that they will be enchanted by both the story and the setting in which they hear it. "The sun had gone down," he recounts. "While I held my page of wonders in the fading light, and read how Alice and her brother were left alone among the graves, my voice mingled with the sigh of a summer wind, which passed over the hilltop with the broad and shallow sound, as of the flight of unseen spirits. Not a word was spoken, till I added that the wizard's grave was close beside us, and that the wood­ wax had sprouted originally from his unhallowed bones"

(NHCE XI, 277). The narrator hopes that, just as it did for the brother and sister in the embedded story, his companions' journey to the graveyard will teach them the truth about their past and lead them to seek forgiveness for their trespasses. He hopes to show them that the guilt of old Salem, which wrongfully condemned so many of its members for witchcraft, is, in Doane's accusal of his sister, also their own. The narrator has shaped his story to teach others what he has learned from his journey to

Gallow's Hill. Yet he is surprised at the reaction of his little audience: "The ladies started; perhaps their cheeks might have grown pale, had not the crimson west been blushing on them; but after a moment they began to laugh, while the breeze took a livelier motion, as if responsive to their mirth" (NHCE XI, 277-78).

Disappointed at first, and even bitter, when his listeners fail to grasp this lesson, he quickly realizes that they must learn it for themselves. To enable his companions to confront their link with the past, he conjures up for them

"hoar antiquity, and bade [his] companions imagine an ancient multitude of people, congregated on the hill side"

(NHCE XI, 278). The procession includes all the old 126 sinners of Salem, both condemners and condemned. They make their way together to Gallows' Hill. There they see their places in that great procession and, pitying those who went before, hope to be pitied themselves. He is finally satisfied that "the past had done all it could.

We slowly descended, watching the lights as they twinkled gradually through the town" (NHCE XI, 280).

"Alice Doane's Appeal" is the earliest of Hawthorne's stories to explicitly announce that there is no short-cut to self-discovery. Nevertheless, the story has many of the stylistic problems typical of Hawthorne's early work.

Whatever the form of the original version of "Alice

Doane," we can see even in the present form that the relationships among the principal characters are contrived, and the horror of the situation is both evoked and resolved mechanically. The Alice Doane story itself is considerably weakened by the indirect narration, although the subordination of this tale shows more clearly what Hawthorne speaks of in his essays when he refers to the power of the past to influence the present. At the same time, he subverts the effect of the moralist who would teach by telling rather than have his audience learn by doing. The reworking of the story by embedding it in another narrative minimizes its dramatic effect but leaves us with a technically better story, one in which the contrivances exist less in the tale itself than in the 127 mind of the narrator who wants to manipulate his audience.- The story shows Hawthorne working but not quite succeeding at combining story, symbol, and moral to good effect.

"The Seven Vagabonds" is a less complicated narrative. The young narrator sets out to walk when a rain forces him to seek shelter in the wagon of an old puppeteer, who shares his wagon with a bookseller. They welcome the youth, along with a fiddler, a dancer, a conjurer and a sharpshooting Indian, all of whom seek shelter from the rain. The Indian intends to work the camp meeting at Stamford, and all decide to join him. The narrator is drawn to each of the vagabonds as he meets them, and imagines himself doing what they do. After he has met the book pedlar, he begins "to sum up . . . the many uncommon felicities in the life of a book pedlar, especially when his character resembled that of the individual before {him]" and speculates that if he ever decides to "meddle with literature," that it shall be "as a travelling book seller" (NHCE IX, 354, 355).

When the old showman asks him where he is going, the narrator is suddenly realizes that he is not entitled to call himself a part of their, crew. "I started. How came I among these wanderers? The free mind, that preferred its own folly to another's wisdom; the open spirit, that found companions everywhere; above all, the restless impulse, that had so often made me wretched in the midst of enjoyments; these were my claims to be of their society"

(NHCE IX, 365). Nevertheless, he determines to tell stories to earn his living. The group is knitted together by their shared purpose, and the narrator speculates that they will always be thus. When the rain stops, they continue on. As they travel, they meet an itinerant preacher who tells them the meeting has broken up. The group dissolves; their union "being thus nullified, by the removal of its object, [they] were sundered at once to the four winds of heaven" (NHCE IX, 369). The youth, however, remains with the Indian, planning to ply his new-found

"trade." The narrator learns here that community is built on a common bond and that when the bond is broken the community cannot last. Significantly, perhaps, the youth chooses to continue with the purpose he found while with his fellow travelers. "The Seven Vagabonds" illustrates a belief implicit in all of Hawthorne's fiction, that one finds a purpose in life interacting with others. This story is more an attempt at character description than storytelling and is less explicitly moral in tone than much of Hawthorne's other work from this time.

"A Vision of the Fountain" is told by a young schoolteacher, who sees a lovely wood nymph reflected in a fountain pool. After his first visit to the pool, he never sees the nymph again although he dreams of her all 129 the time. Preparing to take a position in another village, the narrator spends one last night with his landlord's family only to discover that the "nymph" is part of the small circle sitting around the fire with him.

He realizes that she is no nymph but a local girl who had been away at school, and he ends with an address to the

"dear readers" who might as easily be mistaken for angels as she. This story is interesting primarily (if not i entirely) for its demonstration of Hawthorne's sense of audience as a group of people, never an individual reader. The storyteller always communicates with society, just as the individual he is meant to exemplify must return to the community after his journey through the world of fiction. In spite of his commitment, the narrator has problems with his story. The omniscient viewpoint he maintains creates a condescending attitude on his part toward his audience; he drops hints that imply that it would be foolish not to have figured out his story before he finishes telling it.

The narrator of "Little Annie's Ramble" is joined by a five-year-old child who is

weary of this wide and pleasant street, with the

green trees flinging their shade across the

quiet sunshine, and the pavements and the

sidewalks all as clean as if the housemaid had

just swept them with her broom. She feels that 130

impulse to go strolling away— that longing after

the mystery of the great world— which many

children feel, and which I felt in my childhood

(NHCE IX, 121).

As the two walk to see a carnival that has come to town, the narrator describes the sights they pass— "the dainties of a confectioner, . . . pleasures, as some people would say, of a more exalted kind, in the window of a bookseller, . . . [and] a toy shop"— through an account of the child's awe-filled perceptiqn of the mystery and magic in all she sees (NHCE IX, 123, 124). The narrator is so taken by the world observed through her eyes that it is not until he hears the town crier calling for Annie that he remembers her mother does not know where she is. The pair prepare to return home, the spell of the past again subordinated to the call of the present. The narrator closes his story with the observation that it is good

to steal away from the society of bearded men,

and even of gentler women, and spend an hour or

two with children. After drinking from those

fountains of still fresh existence, we shall

return into the crowd . . . to struggle onward

and do our part in life, perhaps as fervently as

ever, but for a time, with a kinder and purer

heart, and a spirit more lightly wise" (NHCE IX,

129) . 131

Implicit in the narrator's attitude is the belief that the child's vision is truer because it is untainted.

She sees what is there and not what she has been trained to expect. "Little Annie's Ramble" demonstrates

Hawthorne's continued use of several elements of the journey. First, it highlights the universal nature of the desire to travel— both the lighthearted child and her more somber companion need to make the pilgrimage to the land of fantasy. Second, it emphasizes the importance of the return. By walking with the child, the narrator implies his intention to return to society since he is taking responsibility for someone he has said explicitly does not want to leave. Annie's role is similar to the lamp's in

"Night Sketches," which lights the way for the traveler who will go beyond the verge of the town, but not remain a wanderer forever.

Most of the early stories demonstrate Hawthorne's continuing problems with point of view. The narrator insists upon his omniscient stance, and this prevents him from learning anything from the walk, it also impedes the reader's sense of discovery since he is unable to observe the narrator's own learning process. The reader is simply given some abstract advice on assimilating his daily experiences. However, "Little Annie's Ramble" marks a breakthrough to a portrayal of the narrator's actual movement through time and space. Even though he maintains 132 his omniscient stance and himself acquires no knowledge, the narrator's movement in this story shows Hawthorne beginning to develop another aspect, of his mature style.

The last three first-person stories are told by narrators who experience a place removed from the everyday life of the community. In each instance, the narrator encounters at least one person who, by his continued residence in the isolated place, has grown inhuman by cutting himself off from humanity. The narrator hurries to escape the influence of the place and the individual.

In "The Virtuoso's Collection," the narrator goes through an out-of-the-way museum he has found while on an afternoon walk. Under the guidance of the curator, he views a series of natural and fantastic oddities, the first of which is the wishing cap of Fortunatus. The curator asks if the narrator wishes to try it on. "By no means," he answers, saying, "The day of wild wishes is past with me. I desire nothing that may not come in the ordinary course of Providence." They next come to

Aladdin's lamp. The curator again invites his guest to try out the lamp, but once more he demurs: "I might desire a cottage," he replies, "but I would have it founded on sure and stable truth, not on dreams and fantasies. I have learned to look for the real and the true" (NHCE X,

481). When they pass Agrippa's magic glass and the seven- league boots, the curator repeats his invitation, and 133 again the narrator refuses. When they reach the Elixir

Vitae, the narrator admits being greatly tempted:

My heart thrilled within me at the idea of such

a reviving draught; for methought I had great

need of it, after travelling so far on the dusty

road of Life. But I know not whether it were a

peculiar glance in the Virtuoso's eye, or the

circumstance that this most precious liquid was

contained in an antique sepulchral urn, that

made me pause. Then came many a thought, with

which, in the calmer and better hours of life, I

had strengthened myself to feel that Death is

the very friend whom, in his due season, even

the happiest mortal should be willing to embrace

(NHCE X, 489).

Thus, he refuses once again.

When the narrator and his host finally complete their circuit of the museum, the narrator, observing his companion carefully, discovers that

there was a bitterness indefinably mingled with

his tone, as of one cut off from natural

sympathies, and blasted with a doom that had

been inflicted on no other human being, and by

the results of which he had ceased to be human.

Yet, withal, it seemed one of the most terrible

consequences of that doom, that the victim no 134

longer regarded it as a calamity, but had

finally accepted it as the greatest good that

could have befallen him (NHCE X, 495).

He finally recognizes the curator as the Wandering Jew and, in his horrified pity, exclaims that he will pray for the doomed exile's soul. The Wandering Jew replies that his prayers will be in vain, for his destiny is "linked with the realities of earth." "You are welcome to your visions and shadows of a future state," he adds, "but give me what I can see, and touch, and understand, and I ask no more" (NHCE X, 495-496). As the narrator prepares to leave, his host points out to him that "the inner door of the hall was constructed with the ivory leaves of the gateway through which Aeneas and the Sibyl had been dismissed from Hades" (NHCE X, 496).

Hawthorne uses images of the journey from the Bible and from Dante to develop "The Virtuoso's Collection."

The attitude of the Wandering Jew bears a marked correspondence to that of Satan in the Gospel story of

Jesus's temptation in the wilderness. Much as Satan attempts to lure Jesus away from his ministry by offering him different types of temporal power in exchange for his renunciation of the spiritual power he will use in the act of salvation, so the Wandering Jew tempts the narrator to use, and thus become attached to, the fantastic items in his collection, in effect enticing him to remain a part of 135 the collection rather than return to his everyday responsibilities. The temptations presented to the narrator also correspond to the temptations of Jesus, representing not only authority and wealth but also spiritual power and eternal life.

The structure of "The Virtuoso's Collection" is influenced also by Dante's Divine Comedy. The narrator's walk follows a circular route, as does Dante's, and he is accompanied by someone knowledgeable in the route they will take, who is able to point out all that he must observe. In an ironic twist, Hawthorne's virtuoso, unlike

Dante's Virgil, attempts to persuade his charge to fall away from the path he must follow to get out of the museum and back to society. Hawthorne once again emphasizes the danger of expediency, symbolized in the wishing cap and the magical lamp, in contrast to the deliberate, slower paced way of doing things naturally. The narrator's curiosity about the collection once again emphasizes the danger of desiring knowledge for its own sake and not for the use it can be put to in the community.

"The Virtuoso's Collection" demonstrates a further growth in Hawthorne's technical skill inasmuch as he avoids drawing an explicit moral and allows the story to suggest its own meaning. The narrator does not compromise his role as journeyer as the narrators in earlier stories do. His point of view is limited to what he sees at the 136 present moment, and his eventual discovery of the identity of the Wandering Jew is believable and effective.

Hawthorne also demonstrates in this story an ability to make the transition between the real world and the fantasy world smoother and more credible than in earlier stories.

In "The Hall of Fantasy" the narrator and his companion wander through a strange house where they meet famous artists and refugees from the real world and see the many artifacts these artists and exiles have created.

The whole edifice, he says, gives "the impression of a dream, which might be dissipated and shattered to fragments, by merely stamping the foot upon the pavement.

Yet, with such modifications and repairs as successive ages demand, the Hall of Fantasy is likely to endure longer than the most substantial structure that ever cumbered earth" (NHCE X, 172-173). Although his companion suggests that they remain in the Hall, the narrator expresses a preference for the real world. The narrator recognizes the Hall as a "dangerous influence," even while he has "reason to thank God, that there is such a place of refuge from the gloom and chillness of actual life" (NHCE

X, 178). He continues to wander there and ultimately concludes that he should "be content, therefore, with merely an occasional visit, for the sake of spiritualizing the grossness of this actual life, and prefiguring to

[himself] a state, in which the Idea shall be all in all" 137

(NHCE X, 185) .

Written within two years of "The Virtuoso's

Collection," "The Hall of Fantasy" may be considered something of a companion piece to the former story in many ways. First, it, too, resembles a Biblical temptation story. The narrator's companion suggests Simon the

Zealot, who encouraged Jesus to use his growing popularity to seize political control of Israel from the Romans. He encourages the narrator to remake the world in the Hall of

Fantasy rather than take what he has learned back into society. But the narrator recognizes the importance of subordinating himself to the greater needs of the community. Second, "The Hall of Fantasy," like "The

Virtuoso's Collection," tells its story without becoming explicitly didactic. Finally, like "The Virtuoso's

Collection," "The Hall of Fantasy" demonstrates

Hawthorne's technical skill in subordinating image to story. The device of making a visit to a traveling show works well in both stories to move the narrator and the reader from the world of everyday life to the speculative world of fantasy, where one may then contemplate the relationships between the gift of knowledge and its use in society. Both of these stories also show Hawthorne's increasing emphasis on the parallels between the outer temporal journey and the inner spiritual journey.

"The Celestial Railroad" is Hawthorne's most famous first-person narrative and a frequent subject of critical interpretation. Opinion of the tale has been varied. F.

0 . Matthiessen considered the dream a feeble mechanism for ending the story, although Joseph Pattison argues that

Hawthorne deliberately uses the dream to emphasize the narrator's feebleness at interpreting the riddle placed 24 before him. Most scholars have focused on the symbolism of the railroad, and all have been quick to point to

Hawthorne's use of the railroad as a negative commentary on contemporary moral philosophy. For Randall Stewart, the railroad "becomes a symbol of those contrivances— whether philosophical systems or mechanical inventions— 25 which promise an easy and ready way to perfection." G.

F. Cronkite also remarks that Hawthorne was interested in what the railroad might symbolize or suggest concerning 26 the individual moral life. Likewise, Roy Male argues that Hawthorne uses the railroad to demonstrate the

"weakness in the philosophy of technological and intellectual uplift" which Male identifies as the confusion between "penetration in space . . . [and] moral

24 Matthiessen, p. 199; Pattison, p. 227.

25 Stewart, Hawthorne Biography, pp. 245-246.

26 G.F. Cronkite, "The Transcendental Railroad," New England Quarterly 24 (1951), 306. 139 27 insight." Richard Fossum maintains that the train in

"The Celestial Railroad" is "emblematic of man's effort to circumvent time and suffering to achieve easy 2 8 salvation." Roberta Weldon points out that the railroad for Hawthorne "not only cannot permit reflective progress but stands in opposition to closeness with nature or a 29 true encounter with reality that walking encourages."

In "The Celestial Railroad," Hawthorne combines the dream vision with the journey. Although these two devices are often combined in literature, the inner journey accompanies the exterior journey only in Hawthorne's mature work. In The Blithedale Romance, the inward journey in fact replaces the walk as the primary means of

Coverdale's disclosure to the reader of what he knows.

"The Celestial Railroad" opens with the narrator's remark that he recently passed "through the gate of dreams" to "that region of the earth in which lies the famous city of Destruction" (NHCE X, 186). He discovers that "by the public spirit of some of the inhabitants, a railroad has recently been established between this populous and flourishing town, and the Celestial City."

He acquires a traveling companion, Mr. Smooth-It-Away,

^ Male, p. 76.

28 Fossum, p. 76.

29 Weldon, p. 128. who, "though he had never actually visited the Celestial

City, yet seemed as well acquainted with its laws,

customs, policy, and statistics, as with those of the city

of Destruction, of which he was a native townsman." They

take their seats and prepare for the journey. The

narrator inquires after Mr. Greatheart, the companion of

Christiana in the Second Part of The Pilgrim's Progress.

Mr. Smooth-It-Away tells him, "'Greatheart was offered the

situation of brake-man; but, to tell you the truth, our

friend Greatheart has grown preposterously stiff and

narrow, in his old age. He has so often guided pilgrims

over the road, on foot, that he considers it a sin to

travel in any other fashion'" (NHCE X, 189). The narrator

and his companion are hurled along with the train, past

many familiar landmarks from The Pilgrim's Progress. At

the sight of the cross, where Christian's burdens had

fallen from his shoulders, the narrator and several other

passengers remark on the "inestimable advantages"

resulting from "the safety of [their] baggage," believing

them "rich in many things, esteemed precious throughout

the world . . . especially . . . a great variety of our

favorite Habits, which [they] trusted would not be out of

fashion, even in the polite circles of the Celestial City"

(NHCE X, 192). When the train stops so they can browse at

Vanity Fair, two of the pilgrims making the journey on

foot tell the narrator that "the Lord of the Celestial 141

City has refused, and will ever refuse, to grant an act of incorporation for this railroad; and unless that be obtained, no passenger can ever hope to enter his dominions. Wherefore, every man, who buys a ticket, must lay his account with losing his purchase money— which is the value of his own soul" (NHCE X, 202). The narrator and Mr. Smooth-It-Away, nevertheless, get back on the train.

When the train reaches the shore of the river that marks the last obstacle to the Celestial City, the I passengers find a ferry that will take them across. Mr.

Smooth-It-Away bids the narrator good-bye at the riverbank, saying he was not making the journey all the way to the end, but merely for the pleasure of the narrator's company, it is then that the narrator realizes that "[his] excellent friend, Mr. Smooth-it-away, [did] laugh outright; in the midst of which cachinnation, a smoke-wreath issued from his mouth and nostrils; while a twinkle of lurid flame darted out of either eye, proving indubitably that his heart was all of a red blaze. The impudent Fiend! To deny the existence of Tophet, when he felt its fiery tortures raging within his breast!" (NHCE

X, 206). As the ferry proceeds on its route, the narrator realizes that it is going not to the border of the

Celestial City, but down into Hell. He then wakes up and knows he has been dreaming. 142

The narrator is understandably relieved to discover he has not really been trapped on some infernal ferry boat ride, but the fact that he wakes up from the dream does not, as scholars like Matthiessen have implied, indicate that he has rejected the moral of his dream. Rather, his waking represents his willingness to return to human society with the knowledge he has learned in the dream world. He has freed himself from the illusion that anyone can circumvent the arduous journey through life and learned that, like Bunyan's Christian, he must make the journey the hard way, on foot.

Hawthorne exercises remarkable control over his narrative. He uses suspense effectively in the telling of his tale. At the same time, he provides the reader with details that enable him to "guess ahead" of the story, such as the narrator's emphasis on his burdens and his description of the two pilgrims he meets at Vanity Fair.

When the narrator wakes up, he has no need to moralize for the reader because the dream has already clearly shown what he should learn.

What is perhaps most interesting about the processionals and the other first-person narratives is not simply that Hawthorne consistently and continually argues for engaged participation in the life of the community, but also that in all of them he uses the walk as a metaphor for the engaged life. He often begins with a 143 narrator who has deliberately set out, sometimes alone, usually with a companion, on a walk that takes him out of his daily environment into either a remote, natural spot or a fantastic, imaginary place. The narrator thus deliberately isolates himself from the community. In his isolation, he can either examine his relationship to society or refresh himself after participating vigorously in communal activities, or both.

Furthermore, as Hawthorne deliberately reworks the motif of the walking journey in these stories and becomes adept at incorporating the image into the theme, the walk becomes a less obtrusive instrument of learning. In addition, as his technical skill increases, Hawthorne is able to invest the journey as image with additional meaning. While the walk primarily represents an appropriate approach to life, it can also represent the knowledge which an individual pursues for its own sake— an idolatrous misuse— or for the sake of the community to which he belongs. Most significantly, Hawthorne finds it less necessary to make explicit the moral of his tale. As the parts of the story fit together more comfortably,

Hawthorne's moralism becomes less explicit and thus less obtrusive.

Throughout this period and in all the stories,

Hawthorne works and reworks the journeying narrator and his traveling companions, transforming the earlier unsophisticated, omniscient narrator into the sophisticated but ingenuous narrator of the later stories.

The traveling companion develops into a guide whose task at times seems to be to tempt the traveler to remain forever on the journey and thus to disassociate himself permanently from human relations.

The journey itself also develops from the early stories, in which it is often recounted to the reader at second or third hand, to the later stories, where it is an active process that works on the mind and heart of the journeyer. The third-person narratives share many of these developments. They also demonstrate several important thematic and structural developments of their own that will influence Hawthorne's work of the 1850s. Chapter IV: Walking in Hawthorne's Third-Person Narratives

Hawthorne wrote a total of twenty journey stories with a third-person narrator. In ten of them, the knowledge made available to the protagonist during a walk

that temporarily removes him from society enables him to

return to live among his fellows a wiser man.1 The other

ten stories chronicle the experience of someone who chooses not to return. I will discuss the "exile narratives" in the second section of this chapter and the

"narratives of return" in the first.


In each of the narratives of return, Hawthorne places a relatively naive character in a situation which enables or forces him to discover that man is naturally inclined to do evil. The naif makes his discovery while out of immediate commerce with society, usually on a walk or a journey through the woods or on the roads outside of a town. The protagonist must choose whether or not he wants to return to the community with his knowledge.

With perhaps two exceptions, the narratives of return are conventionally didactic. Like the first-person narratives, they demonstrate Hawthorne's developing

i In two of these stories, "David Swan" and "The New Adam and Eve," the travelers do not learn anything. The knowledge available to them is, however, evident to the reader, and their ignorance at the conclusion is ironic.

145 146

facility at using the journey as both a setting and a

symbol. Whereas in the first-person narratives the

journey comes to represent both a way of life and a temptation to escape it, the journey in the third-person narratives of return is a test of how well one lives.

Implicit in these stories, along with the notion of choice, is a very specific authorial recommendation concerning that choice.

The third-person narratives of return generally follow one of two patterns; they are either exempla or night journeys. In the exempla, the stock characters are under-developed psychologically and are placed in conventional situations. Five of the return narratives are exempla; two of them examine the of a protagonist's ignorance as it is demonstrated during his journey, and the other three demonstrate how the protagonist discovers "the truth" about himself or about his life while taking a trip. In all of the exempla, the narrator states the moral at either the beginning or the end of the story.

In the "night journey" stories, the protagonist takes a trip which removes him from the security of the familiar community and plunges him into the night. He faces an inner conflict, and he must respond by taking action. In some cases, his choice alienates him from the community for a time, and he must find a way to reconcile himself to it. In others, he must decide whether he wants to reconcile himself or not. The narratives of return, obviously, recount how, rather than whether or not, this reconciliation takes place. In the night journeys, unlike the exempla, the characters are more fully developed: they exhibit both mean and heroic characteristics, they respond spontaneously to the situations they face, and they recognize the alternatives they must choose between.

In all of the night journeys, the protagonist's trip symbolizes the pattern of human existence, transitory and unpredictable, although with many repeating patterns. The protagonist learns something about himself that enables him to identify with his fellow men and to choose to become a participant in society. In all of the night journeys, but particularly those written near the end of

Hawthorne's career, the alternation between night vision and day vision provides an obstacle to knowledge that becomes an important part of the protagonist's test.

Two of the exempla— "David Swan" and "The New Adam and Eve"— are ironic stories of travelers who learn nothing from their walks. They are negative examples of the opportunities for choice that life offers and proof that those opportunities are not always taken. They illustrate particularly well what Newton Arvin has called the theme of all of — "the menace offered by a cold or selfish or marginal way of life to 148 2 healthy perception of human realities."

In "David Swan," the central character is presented with opportunities to "make his life," but he loses them.

Young David Swan stops at a fountain and decides to take a nap, instead of walk as far as he can, before the coach picks him up to go to town to seek his fortune. The people who pass the sleeping youth include a merchant who wants to adopt him, a young girl who hopes to kiss him, and thieves who plan to rob him. All three are thwarted by various circumstances, and David Swan awakens when the coach arrives, "without so much as a parting glance at that fountain of dreamlike vicissitude" (NHCE IX, 189-90).

Harry Levin finds it "characteristic" of Hawthorne that David Swan "does not actually adventure upon" the road, but instead "lies asleep at a crossroads while the author, in breathless , apostrophizes the passing exponents of wealth and , and considers their hypothetical effects upon David's career."^ But I would argue that the characteristic touch of Hawthorne lies in the irony of the narrator's stated judgment of David Swan, which implies that individuals should be alert to such brushes with destiny. David was remiss in falling asleep and turning his mind toward an

2 Arvin, p. 141.

3 Levin, p. 48. 149 inner vista, as it were, therefore losing the fortune he was seeking. The moral here is not that one should avoid sleeping by the roadside, but that one must direct his attentions outward when traveling on the road of life.

The premise of "David Swan" is repeated in "The New

Adam and Eve," in which the title characters, created after the destruction of the existing human race, are placed in the center of an empty nineteenth-century city.

The narrator presents the couple as they walk amidst still intact relics of civilization, having no way to comprehend what they see. They ramble through a store, a church, the legislature, a prison, and a private home, managing to learn only that some other creatures made all of these things. Rather than speculate on the cause for their predecessors' destruction (which the narrator continually implies they should do), they are as entranced as the descendents of the first couple had been with all of the accoutrements of civilization and, more importantly, even more absorbed with themselves. Greatly disappointed, the narrator remarks that the new Adam and Eve, while unable to escape the trappings that ensnared the first human race, have "at least the freedom . . . not to make errors" for themselves (NHCE X, 265-66). The narrator of "The New

Adam and Eve" implicitly believes that the walker is provided with an opportunity to learn something about himself and his relationship to society, whether it be the 150 leveling effect of shared heritage, the importance of wakefulness, or the story of the past. But for this couple, the possibility,of learning is precluded by their self-absorption.

The other three exempla— "The Great Carbuncle," "The

Threefold Destiny," and "Little Daffydowndilly"— share some traits with "David Swan" and "The New Adam and Eve."

Their protagonists are stock characters who act conventionally in response to their situations and make relatively commonplace journeys. But unlike the characters in the first three exempla, they learn valuable lessons.

"The Great Carbuncle" tells the story of eight people from different walks of life whose purposes and paths cross as they search for the mythical Great Carbuncle of the White Mountains. Each person has a different, selfish reason for wanting the gem, including the naive young couple, Matthew and Hannah, who want to use it to light and warm their home. When they awake the morning after meeting their fellow seekers, they wander into the woods and up the mountains only to become lost in the mists.

The pair wander disconsolate, wishing they could find a way back out of the hills, anxious "to behold that green earth again, more intensely, alas! than beneath a clouded sky, they had ever desired a glimpse of heaven" (NHCE IX,

161). At last they resolve to try to make their way back 151 down the mountain "and dream no more of the Great

Carbuncle" (NHCE IX, 161). No sooner do they recognize

the impossibility of their search than the mists clear and

they see the great stone in the face of the cliff across the lake. They also see several of their fellow searchers, who have variously been killed or stricken in their quests. Hannah and Matthew then realize how futile and selfish their motives are, as are the motives of all who have sought the Great Carbuncle. They return home with the resolve that they will "never again desire more light than all the world may share" (NHCE IX, 163). The narrator notes that "from the hour when two mortals had shown themselves so simply wise, as to reject a jewel which would have dimmed all earthly things, its splendor waned" (NHCE IX, 165).

The Great Carbuncle, a source of light and brilliance in the that all the seekers recount, symbolizes knowledge. All references to the light of the stone make plain that it is an unearthly representation of superhuman knowledge, the desire for which bespeaks an overweening pride. The scientist who searches for more knowledge than the human mind should have, or who gets knowledge at the expense of others, is a common image in Hawthorne's work.

The "Faust" theme and its variations in Hawthorne have been amply discussed, and it will suffice here to note that the scientist in Hawthorne is often depicted as a 152 4 traveler. In "The Great Carbuncle," Matthew and Hannah

represent Everyman, who seeks to live a good life and hopes to make it better by some noble addition. Their vision is self-absorbed at first, but when they look at themselves in the context of the community they belong to, they gain a more realistic perspective. The other travelers refuse to recognize that they can never attain what they seek because it is greater than themselves or their individual needs; and so their search destroys them. The structure of "The Great Carbuncle" indicates that Matthew and Hannah achieve a glimpse of the divine only when they forego their self-serving search to return to the community they had left behind.

"The Threefold Destiny" works a similar moral. The story involves a young man, Randall Cranfield, who returns home after a long absence. He intends to remain only a short while to rest before continuing to seek his fortune. He looks for signs of that fortune in a group of symbols in three visions he has had of wealth, fame, and power, while at home, he recognizes the three symbols in everyday occurrences in his mother's home, and he rejoices that, after much searching, he has found where he belongs. The narrator makes explicit the wish that "[if] all who cherish such wild wishes, but look around them,

4 See Taylor Stoehr, Hawthorne's Mad Scientists; Pseudoscience and Social Science in Nineteenth-century Life and Letters (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1978) . 153

they would oftenest find their sphere of duty, of

prosperity, and happiness within those precincts and in

that station, where providence itself has cast their lot.

Happy they who read the riddle without a weary world

search, or a lifetime spent in vain!" (NHCE IX, 482)

The story of Ralph Cranfield symbolizes a search for

the type of life that most individuals undertake, and in

it, Cranfield is forced to interpret the knowledge he

acquires. He must choose whether to follow a grandiose

vision simply for its own sake or discover it in its

correspondences with the life he had left behind. This

choice makes his vision come true and frees him from the

journey. "The Threefold Destiny" emphasizes again the

importance of the journeyer's attitude: he must be willing to seek his destiny, but also to be happy with it when he finds it. Cranfield is an example of the seeker whose temporary exile from his homeland enables him to see more clearly that the land he left is truly his home.

"Little Daffydowndilly" is another story of a

temporary exile who leaves his home in search of something

that was there all along. The title character is a young boy who dislikes the hard work he must do for his

schoolmaster, one Mr. Toil. He runs away and takes up with a companion, an older man who is also on the road.

Wherever the two go, Little Daffydowndilly sees the

characteristics of his old schoolmaster in the faces of 154 all those he meets, both in the fields and in the towns; his companion explains that these are all the brethren of

Mr. Toil. The boy eventually decides that running away from his work is no less tiresome than doing it, and so he returns to school. He discovers that work is not so unpleasant after all.

The night journeys share the motif of an extended, walking journey that takes place at night or in darkness.

The characters in three of these stories— "The Battle

Omen," "Egotism; or, The Bosom Serpent," and ‘'The

Canterbury Pilgrims"— do not change as a result of their discoveries; however, they return to a community from which they have unwittingly become estranged. Two night journeys— "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" and "Roger Malvin's

Burial"— tell the stories of characters whose discoveries require profound changes in their attitudes toward life and their views of themselves. These changes are critical to the return of these individuals to the brotherhood of society.

"The Battle Omen" is an allegory that demonstrates the importance of the past as a key to the interpretation of the present. Two young men traveling through the woods one night after a skirmish shortly before the start of the

American Revolution talk about the signs their forbears would have interpreted as omens of the coming battle.

While they are overtly skeptical of such omens, one of them remarks it strange that "these near commotions are foretold by none of the wild oracles which [their] forefathers were wont to hear, on occasions of so much less interest." His companion speculates, "If we had inherited the gloom of their religious faith, the winds in the forest, and the meteors in the sky, would have prophesied also to us" (NHCE XI, 236). When the two stop to rest, one tells the other the legend of the woods that they walk through, where the music of fife and drum was said to be carried on the wind as a portent of battle.

One story leads to the telling of others, "till their talk acquired the earnestness of deep belief" (NHCE XI, 237).

By the time the two soldiers continue on their way, they are able to hear the "spiritual minstrelsy" in the wind and the "roar of cannon" in the cracking ice (NHCE XI,


"The Battle Omen" emphasizes the lessons of the past that can be learned only by those who know how to listen to them. The process of learning, moreover, is associated with a journey. The account of the soldiers' trip through the forest depicts a circular journey in which the discovery of the individual's link to the past ties him more firmly to the present.

"Egotism; or, the Bosom Serpent" tells the story of

Roderick Elliston, the "man with a snake in his bosom," who searches far and wide for the snakes that reside in others. Roderick goes abroad only at night, at first, in order to hide himself from humanity, but once he realizes his secret is known, he walks through the town daily in search of the counterparts to his snake. He discovers that everyone has one, similar if not identical to his own, but that knowledge does not distract Roderick from an inordinate preoccupation with his curse. His friend,

Herkimer, discovers that Roderick knows how to cure himself— by focusing on someone else instead of himself— but deems the cure impossible without trying it. Roderick is cured, however, when Herkimer reunites his cousin,

Rosina, who is Roderick's wife, with her estranged spouse, and Roderick forgets himself in the contemplation of her beauty.

"Egotism" is one of a few stories that Hawthorne categorizes, by subtitling it an "allegory of the heart"; the correspondences in this story are easy for any reader to see. The serpent represents the negative aspects of human nature, emblematic not only of primal sin but also of preoccupation with it. Roderick is so obsessed with his own situation that he is in a state of self-absorbed, dead-ended isolation from the society of others. Despite his discovery that others are similarly afflicted,

Roderick remains pessimistic about himself and refuses to see hope in mankind's common lot. (In this respect,

Roderick is much like Young Goodman Brown.) Yet his 157 recognition of Rosina's misery enables Roderick to step back and place his situation in perspective (as the narrator in "Footprints on the Seashore" recommends). The story also emphasizes a point that Hawthorne makes in most of the journey stories: that the journey is pernicious in its effect when it continues to keep one away from community and can be extended only by a willful refusal on the journeyer's part to see that he has reached its end.

The other night journey stories likewise develop the importance of the decision to return; at the same time, they emphasize the possibility of permanent exile as a tempting but dangerous choice.

In "The Canterbury Pilgrims," two young Shakers,

Josiah and Miriam, steal away from their home by cover of night to make a life for themselves as husband and wife in the world. They stop to refresh themselves at a spring outside their village, where they meet a group of travelers heading toward the Shaker town. The travelers try to dissuade the young couple by telling them of their own disillusionment with society. A poet complains that his verse has not made him a living; a ruined merchant both proclaims and bemoans his state. The young people instantly recognize the self-centeredness of these two men as the cause of their failures, and Josiah's and Miriam's comments to them imply that the couple fear the pilgrims will fare no better with the Shakers. Josiah and Miriam also recognize their difference from these two and so are not dissuaded. An unsuccessful yeoman then tells his story. His aspirations were simple and like their own, and his story gives the couple pause to reflect whether one who would ask only for his due from life should meet with such crushing failure. The narrator points to what

Josiah and Miriam at first fail to see about the farmer and his wife: "At that moment, when they stood almost on the utmost verge of married life, one word fitly spoken, or perhaps one peculiar look, had they had mutual confidence enough to reciprocate it, might have renewed all their old feelings, and sent them back, resolved to sustain each other amid the struggles of the world. But the crisis past, and never came again" (NHCE XI, 130).

Josiah's and Miriam's failure is not as great as the olde couple's, who have failed, like the poet and the merchant to climb out of the abyss of their self-centered contemplation of their individual situation. All of the

Canterbury pilgrims choose exile out of egotism.

In spite of the seemingly commendable other-worldliness of their renunciation of commercial society for the asceticism of the Shaker community, the travelers in "The Canterbury Pilgrims" can anticipate no solace from the new life they have chosen. Rather they have chosen the way to surest failure since they make it impossible for themselves to participate in the larger 159 community of which they are members. They can gain no benefits from their new community because they are still oppressed by the blind self-absorption that has brought them to their new homes. Josiah and Miriam are tempted, particularly after listening to the yeoman and his wife, to remain in exile from society and return to the village. But the hope that each has for the new life they can make inspires them to make the choice to follow the

road to society, accepting the risks and challenges that this choice will bring.

Robin Molineux's choice between exile and return makes "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" a good example of the

"temptation theme." His is an interesting conflict, as demonstrated by the cross-purposes that his journey represents: it takes him away from his home, which is itself isolated from the larger community. His journey to the city is thus a journey toward a more committed connection to society. Robin discovers, however, that he is not quite as shrewd a lad as he had thought. He also learns that what seems important and advantageous before he contacts the community (i.e., his uncle and the great expectations he has with him) is quite another thing in the proper context. Finally Robin learns to recognize himself as an object of scorn almost in equal portion to his uncle; his saving grace is that, unlike his kinsman, he can accept the position he is in and join in the 160 community's response to it. At the same time that Robin's journey represents a journey with the community and thus a learning experience for him, it also represents a temptation to continue the journey away from the community and back to the isolated safety of his father's farm. His choice to remain is an important one, and one that will in the long run justify the harshness of the lesson he has learned.

Hawthorne uses several stock elements to cue the reader to Robin's progress on his journey. The fact that it takes place "on a moonlit evening" is of course significant and common to all the night journeys (NHCE XI,

209). Like the characters in other stories, notably "The

Great Carbuncle," Robin quickly gets lost: "Before [he] had proceeded far, however, it occurred to him that he knew not whither to direct his steps. . . . He now became entangled in a succession of crooked and narrow streets, which crossed each other, and meandered at no great distance from the water side. . . . He now roamed desperately, and at random, through the town" (NHCE XI,

210, 211, 219). Robin is always aware of his need to rely on the kindness of strangers, as it were, and is never so foolish as to try to make his way through the town alone.

He is perplexed at the refusal of the city dwellers to help him, and likewise angered by their mirth at his predicament. When his perplexity and anger give way to

'V. 161 his recognition of loneliness, however, Robin's situation begins to change. "’Oh, that any breathing thing were here with me!'" he exclaims (NHCE XI, 222). From this point, his situation takes an upward turn, for shortly thereafter the kindly stranger arrives to counsel and to wait with him for the arrival of his uncle.

Robin initially rejects the alternative to remaining apart from the community: "with a mixture of pity and terror," he sends forth "a shout of laughter that echoed through the street. . . . [It] was the loudest there"

(NHCE XI, 229-30). He experiences the temptation to put aside the company of this society, and he voices this by asking the stranger to tell him the way back to the ferry. The stranger, however, urges Robin to wait, to think about what he has learned, and then to decide whether he really wants to leave the community he has so recently joined. Robin is asked to identify himself not as an individual but as a member of a community, and this identification, along with a renunciation of a more egotistical perspective, is vital to his growth in and continuance with the community.

"Roger Malvin's Burial" also uses a physical exile as counterpoint to a spiritual journey. Reuben Bourne's situation is a difficult one: he must choose between physical or moral separation from the community, yet he is unable to have both the physical and moral connection he

V, 162 desires. The story opens at sunrise, while "the early sunbeams hovered cheerfully upon the treetops, beneath which two weary and wounded men had stretched their limbs the night before" (NHCE X, 338). In the harsh light of day Roger Malvin persuades his young companion to leave him alone in the forest and return to the settlement.

Knowing that he will die from his wounds before young

Bourne returns, Malvin nevertheless persists in the fiction that his companion will bring back help. As he prepares Bourne for his journey back to the village, he more openly admits the truth; he tells his young friend,

"Return, when your wounds are healed and your weariness refreshed, return to this wild rock, and lay my bones in the grave and say a prayer over them." While Reuben ties a handkerchief to the tree above his dying friend, he vows to "return either to save his companion's life, or to lay his body in the grave" (NHCE X, 344).

Reuben sets off for the village, but he soon weakens and falls unconscious. He is found by the villagers and brought back to the settlement, where he remains near death for several days. When he finally recovers, he fears that he will be shunned if the rest of the settlers discover that he left his companion alone while he was still alive. He allows Malvin's daughter (who is also

Bourne's betrothed) to believe her father died and was properly buried before he started back to the settlement. 163

The choice Reuben makes takes its toll: as the years pass, he becomes a selfish person, unable to maintain himself and his family within the community. He therefore decides to sell what little property and few goods he has not already lost to seek his fortune beyond the edge of

the settlement in the wilderness. He, his wife Dorcas and

their son Cyrus travel for several days, at first toward a

clearing that the father and son had established the

season before, but eventually, as if by some inner compass

in Reuben's psyche, in another direction from the one they had originally planned. At the end of the third day, the

family camps in a place where "the sunshine yet lingered upon the higher branches of the trees that grew on rising ground; but the shades of evening had deepened into the hollow" (NHCE X, 357). It is significant that Reuben had walked out of the forest and into the village (into the beginnings of his deception) in bright daylight, where he had lived out nearly two decades of deceit and dishonesty that had left him withered and self-absorbed. It is further significant that the truth will be revealed when the sun is "beneath the horizon, and the light that

[comes] down among the trees [is] dim" (NHCE X, 359).

Reuben and Cyrus go in opposite directions to hunt for supper; Dorcas prepares their camp as she waits. She hears a shot from the direction that Cyrus has taken, and she walks into the thicket when she does not hear him 164 walking back, thinking that he needs help to drag back the stag that he must have shot. Instead, she breaks into a clearing where she finds her husband leaning over the youth, whom he has accidentally shot. Reuben realizes that this is the very site where he had left old Roger

Malvin, exactly eighteen years before. At the moment of

Dorcas's discovery, the bough of the oak which Reuben had marked comes down

upon [him], upon his wife and child, and upon

Roger Malvin's bones. Then Reuben's heart was

stricken, and the tears gushed out like water

from a rock. The vow that the wounded youth had

made, the blighted man had come to redeem,

. . . and in the hour, when he had shed blood

dearer to him than his own, a prayer, the first

for years, went up to heaven from the lips of

Reuben Bourne (NHCE X, 360).

The story ends with Reuben choosing to reveal his hidden crime, which Newton Arvin calls his "one germ of unmanifested culpability," and return to the land of the living.’’ Although various critics have discussed the mythical patterns of "Roger Malvin's Burial" and

Hawthorne's focus on the disproportion between Reuben's

"crime" and his guilt, they have not commented upon the temptation that both the spiritual and physical journeys

5 Arvin, p. 60. 165 g present, and the effect each has on Reuben Bourne.

These traveling characters share several common traits, and one can trace their development in the return narratives that Hawthorne wrote from the early to the late stories. Whereas in the former the journey is simple and the journeyer straightforward in his characterization, in the later stories the journey is more complex and the journeyer more ambiguous about his intentions. This development significantly affects the later romances that

Hawthorne wrote in the 1850s, whose characters even at their most undeveloped are never simple or conventional.


The last stories I will discuss are the "exile narratives." In these stories, a central character who purposefully sets out on a journey learns something about himself and his relationship to the community that leads him not to return. This choice always has tragic results that affect not only the journeyer's life, but often the lives of those around him.

It is more difficult to evaluate the exile narratives as a unit because they were written over a greater expanse of time than the other stories that involve walks. Ten years passed between the publication of "John Inglefield's

Thanksgiving," the last of the earlier group of these

£ See Stewart, Hawthorne Biography; Donahue; Fossum; Spengemann; and Newman. stories, and "Ethan Brand" and "," the last two short stories Hawthorne wrote. The style and tone of the earlier stories are substantially different from the last two, most noticeably in the absence of sentimental speculation and the sense of tragedy present in the last stories. This tragic sense also prevails in the two best of the earlier stories, "Young Goodman Brown" and

"Wakefield," but even in these the tragedy is muted by conventionally sentimental elements which are absent from the late stories.

Another interesting development in the exile narratives is the introduction of an "alternative" voice, in the person of a character whose experiences are significantly similar to the exiled protagonist's, but who chooses instead to return to the community to tell his tale. Two stories— "The Gentle Boy" and "The Lily's

Quest"— present this alternative character, an important development in the structure of the romances.

There are three "journeyers" in "The Gentle Boy"— the Puritan Tobias Pearson, the Quaker exile, Catharine, and Ilbrahim, her son— and the narrator focuses on each of them, albeit with varying intensity, throughout the story.

Tobias and Catharine are the most obvious journeyers:

Tobias's evening journey home through the woods at the start of the story leads him to Ilbrahim and his Quaker faith. On one of Dorothy's and Tobias's first walks 167 through the woods to church with little Ilbrahim they first experience the community's disapproval of them for their charity to the boy. The Quaker religion that Tobias takes up is a pilgrim faith, often forcing its adherents into exile and wandering, as it has Catharine and her family. Nevertheless, the Pearsons remain in their village as members of the community, doing their best to fulfill their commitments to society, even as these are transformed by their Quaker beliefs. Catharine chooses to exile herself from the community and, more importantly, from her son, who represents the most tangible sort of claim the individual can make on a community, that of a child on its parent. In eschewing her responsibility to

Ilbrahim, Catharine forfeits the humanizing effect of community; she is without the consolation Tobias Pearson found in his older friend. Catharine is thus forced to continue her wanderings even after the persecution of

Quakers is officially banned.

The results of the different responses that Tobias and Catharine make to the discoveries of their journeys are demonstrated in their relationships to Ilbrahim. When the child is in the sole care of Tobias and Dorothy, he begins to flourish; when he discovers his mother is alive, he responds more to her absence than to the presence of his caretakers. Her "rejection" of him sets the pattern that he recognizes in the responses of the community, 168 particularly the other children. When they reject him, too, he cannot go on; he cannot escape the claim Catharine has on him once she pronounces her curse before taking the wilderness path that goes "darkening onward, till . . . the end is death":

Thou wilt go seeking through the world, and find

all hearts closed against thee, and their sweet

affections turned to bitterness for my sake. My

child, my child, how many a pang awaits thy

gentle spirit, and I the cause of all I (NHCE IX,

81, 84)

She leaves Ilbrahim then to "wander on a mistaken errand, neglectful of the holiest trust that can be committed to a woman" (NHCE IX, 95).

When Catharine returns to the Pearsons' home on the night of Ilbrahim's death, she is too late to re-establish her relationship with her son. She no sooner hears the news of his final illness than she begins to go mad, and, even though the persecutions have supposedly ended, she is determined to seek out persecutors because her "fanatacism had become wilder by the sundering of all human ties"

(NHCE IX, 104). And it is only because the persecutions finally cease that Catharine ends her aimless wanderings.

Ilbrahim is himself characterized as the "little wanderer from a remote and heathen country," who traveled much in Europe and the Middle East with his parents before 169 they came to America (NHCE IX, 89). He is still deeply affected by them. Like his mother, his thoughts are often directed inward "when they should have been wandering abroad" (NHCE IX, 93). Like Catharine, Ilbrahim is persecuted by his peers (although unlike her he does not seek out his torturers with the intention of being tortured); because he is tied to someone who has sundered her own communal ties, he is unable to see beyond the evil that he encounters or hope for a better life. By the time his mother returns to take her rightful place in his life,

Ilbrahim has made his choice, and so he dies, significantly, in the bosom of his self-exiled mother.

Although his role is pushed into the background as the story progresses, Tobias Pearson is an important counterpoint to the exiles of Catharine and Ilbrahim.

Like Catharine, he is a religious individual, and his discovery of a new way to believe takes place in a setting that has symbolic connections to the wilderness of

Catharine's exile. His journey starts at dusk, as he is returning "from the metropolis to the neighboring country town in which he resided" (NHCE IX, 70). Even after he learns who Ilbrahim is and how he came to be in the forest, Tobias takes responsibility for him, placing the child's need before his own safety.

God forbid that I should leave this child to

perish though he comes of the accursed sect. . . 170

Do we not all spring from an evil root? Are

we not all in darkness till the light doth shine

upon us? He shall not perish, neither in body,

nor, if prayer and instruction may avail him, in

soul (NHCE IX, 71).

As Tobias comes under the boy's influence, he grows to accept what he had once called the heretical ways of the

Quaker sect. Nevertheless, his vision always remains other-centered rather than self-centered. Just before

Catharine returns, while he sits and reads with the old

Quaker, he comments, "I have well-nigh sunk under my own share of this trial . . . yet I would that it be doubled to me, if so the child's mother could be spared" (NHCE IX,

99). And at the end of the story, he and Dorothy care for the forsaken Catharine, as they had tried to care for her son.

The error of Catharine's choice to exile herself has been remarked by several critics. Newton Arvin points out that while the Puritans are the "ostensible villains of the tale," we cannot evade "the 'moral' implicit in the misery [of] which Ilbrahim's mother, clinging fanatically to her spiritual loneliness, is in another sense the 7 cause." William A. Tremblay observes that "what

Catharine sacrifices in her unwavering obedience to the

'inward movement of the spirit' is the creation of a

7 Arvin, p. 56. stable home that would have insured the nurture of

Ilbrahim's gentle life. The road in 'The Gentle Boy' is Q the road of suffering and persecution." R. H. Fossom notes that Catharine "neglects her child and thus violates the 'duties of the present life and the future' in the very act of 'fixing her attention wholly on the latter'; for the memory of persecution and the hope of revenge send

Q her into the wilderness." Her choice exiles herself and her son, in contrast to Pearson, whose choices provide the saving grace in the story.

In "The Lily's Quest" is a similar juxtaposition of exile and returning journeyer, with a third character poised between them. Adam Forrester and Lilias Fay, also called Lily, set out to find the perfect spot to build a temple of happiness. They are followed everywhere by the dark-clad Walter Gascoigne, who discourages them by telling them that the place they have chosen has witnessed some sad event. So they continue to walk through the countryside in search of a site. When they finally choose one and start to build, Walter is strangely silent. Lily grows weaker and weaker as the project progresses, and she finally dies in the half-completed temple. Hoping to drive her bereaved lover to despair, Gascoigne tells

8 Tremblay, p. 83.

q Fossum, p. 45. 172

Forrester that Lily has died from the noxious presence of the hidden grave over which they have built their temple.

His revelation has, however, a different effect from the one he had planned:

But, as the Shadow of Affliction spoke, a vision

of hope and joy had its birth in Adam's mind,

even from the old man's taunting words; for then

he knew what was betokened by the in

which the Lily and himself had acted; and the

mystery of Life and Death was opened to him.

"Joy! Joy!" he cried, throwing his arms

toward heaven. "On a grave be the Site of our

Temple; and now our happiness is for Eternity!"

With those words, a ray of sunshine broke

through the dismal sky, and glimmered down into

the sepulchre, while, at the same moment, the

shape of old Walter Gascoigne stalked drearily

away (NHCE IX, 449-50).

Walter Gascoigne’s intentions remain divisive and isolating throughout the story. In the sorrow and darkness of human history, he sees cause only for despair, and he tries to spread that desperation to Lily and Adam.

Adam, on the other hand, at first denies the persistence of sorrow and evil in the world and refuses to build his temple where he believes it will be sullied by gloom.

However, when he is forced at Lily's death to accept 173 mortality and decay as man's common fate, he recognizes the ultimately binding and redemptive power of sorrow, for it points to mankind's shared hope of redemption and restoration. His presence is again a counterpoint to

Walter's, whose meanness sends him into exile.

In the "sentimental" exiles— "The Hollow of the Three

Hills," "The Ambitious Guest," "The Man of Adamant," and

"John Inglefield's Thanksgiving"— Hawthorne uses stock characters and conventional situations, exhibiting many qualities of the sentimental fiction of the nineteenth century, in order to mute the sense of tragedy that might otherwise be evoked by the characters' alienation from society. They share a common superficiality of characterization and conventional development. In each of these stories, Hawthorne mutes the tragedy of isolation for the central characters by employing a discursive, highly moralistic narrative voice, typical of much nineteenth-century fiction, to distance the characters' circumstances from the reader's.

In "The Hollow of the Three Hills," Hawthorne uses a highly fantastic, Gothic setting to create an aura of mystery around the events that take place. The story opens "in those strange old times, when fantastic dreams and madmen's reveries were realized among the actual circumstances of life," as a young woman and an old hag meet "together at the appointed hour and place" (NHCE IX, 174

199). The young woman comes to the hag for some information about the life she has forsaken. The hag shows her three visions: two parents grieving for a runaway daughter, a husband wronged by a deserted wife, and a child's coffin being lowered into a grave. After this last vision the young woman does not raise her head, and the hag cackles gleefully over this "sweet hour" spent as the story ends.

The young woman searches for the assurance that what she has done has affected no one but herself. The witch's vision intimates the opposite, but instead of hoping that where there is still some connection there might also be forgiveness, the woman gives in to despair and dies. Her journey has led her away from home and hearth, and her discovery that it has been painful not only for herself but for those around her leads her to flee farther from them rather than to return.

Critics have looked at "The Hollow of the Three

Hills" in varied ways. Poe cited it as "an instance of

Hawthorne's exceptional skill in creating a totality of 10 impression." Kenneth Dauber acknowledges that Hawthorne deliberately builds emotional barriers between the author and the reader in this story with the magical setting, and

Lea Newman points out that the Lady of the Hollow embodies some aspects of the Cain Myth, as does Hester Prynne in

10 Quoted in Matthiessen, p. 205. 175 11 The Scarlet Letter. Unlike Cain, the woman finally

accepts the responsibility of her actions toward others

although this sense of responsibility causes her despair.

In "The Ambitious Guest," a young traveler going

through Franconia Notch in New Hampshire accepts hospitality from a family living under the cliff of the mountain. We are told that his face "at first wore the melancholy expression, almost despondency, of one who

travels a wild and bleak road, but [it] soon brightened up, when he saw the kindly warmth of the reception" (NHCE

IX, 325). The group settles in for an evening of storytelling, and they discover that the youth and his hosts are somewhat kindred spirits: "He had kept himself apart from those who might otherwise have been his companions. The family, too, though so kind and hospitable had . . . [a] consciousness of unity among themselves and separation from the world at large" (NHCE

IX, 327-328). The group hears a rumble from the mountain and recognizes it as an avalanche. They barely have time to get to the shelter the family has made on the other side of the road when the rocks fall— on the shelter, leaving the house untouched— killing them all.

The youth's interrupted journey and the family's isolated home are joined thematically by the narrator who

11 Kenneth Dauber, Rediscovering Hawthorne (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), p. 52; Newman, p. 157. 176 sees each as counterproductive to dependence and community. He comments on the irony of the distance between their hopes and aspirations, variously expressed in the evening of storytelling, and implies throughout that there is something wrong with their prideful self- reliance. Again it is the narrator's constant moralizing that distances the reader from the characters.

In "The Man of Adamant," Richard Digby fancies his salvation unique and superior to the community's, so he decides to exile himself. He walks into the woods, journeying three days and two nights until he finds a limestone cave suitable for his home and his church.

"'Here,'" he says, "’I can offer up acceptable prayers, because my voice will not be mingled with the sinful supplications of the multitude'" (NHCE XI, 163). For three days he stays in the cave, not even going outside to find water, preferring to lick the dissolved lime dripping from the ceiling of the cave. A former convert of his,

Mary Goffe, finds him and pleads with him to return to the community. "’Come back with me,'" she begs him, "’Come back to thy fellow men; for they need thee, Richard; and thou has tenfold need of them'" (NHCE XI, 166). Rejecting her offer, he turns to stone and dies. Mary then disappears, for she was really a ghost that had been sent back from the dead to warn him to amend his ways.

Years later, some children playing in the woods find 177

Richard Digby's cave, where the lime dripping from the

ceiling has covered him and made a grotesque statue.

Disgusted by the sight that has frightened them, their

father boards the cave up, forever sequestering the errant


As R. H. Possum points out, Richard Digby achieves an

"ironic immortality," but it is clear that the narrator

condemns immortality when it is gained at the expense of 12 one's communal relationship to his fellows. Digby's

choice is a tragic one, but the narrator's discursive

intervention between the character and the reader precludes our interpretation of the outcome of the story as anything but just and inevitable. We are never allowed to see Digby experience a moment of recognition that the community ^s the way to salvation. Because he is presented merely as an emblem of bad behavior, his story

is never genuinely tragic.

In "John Inglefield's Thanksgiving," the title character, in the first year of his widowhood, sits down to Thanksgiving dinner with the members of his household— his son and daughter and a friend— and is joined at the end of the meal by another daughter, Prudence, who has left home to pursue a life of "guilt and infamy" (NHCE XI,

180-81). All are glad to see her, in spite of her situation, and they spend a pleasant evening together.

12 Possum, p. 67. 4


When it is time for night prayers, Prudence prepares to

leave. As she turns to say farewell, "her face was so

changed that they hardly recognized it. Sin and evil

passions glowed through its comeliness, and wrought a

horrible deformity; a smile gleamed in her eyes, as of

triumphant mockery at their surprise and grief" (NHCE XI,

184) .

The narrator explains that Prudence was seen later

that same night as she caroused with the other "painted

Beauties" in a neighboring city, one whose "dissolute

mirth seemed inconsistent with any sympathy for pure

affections, and for the joys and griefs which are hallowed

by them" (NHCE XI, 184). He explains that her visit to

her father's home was a "waking dream," in which "the

guilty soul will sometimes stray back to innocence" before

sin calls it back (NHCE XI, 185). Such, he says, is the

power of sin that it prevents the guilty soul from ever

mending its ways.

Although the journey in "John Inglefield's

Thanksgiving" is only implicit, it deserves our attention

because of its commentary upon the condition of the exile.

Prudence is yet another traveler who makes a choice about

her life that she believes unchangeable, even though she

obviously senses the call of the community. As another of

the stories of "sentimental" exiles, however, "John

Inglefield's Thanksgiving" is one in which the narrator 179 tells about rather than shows a set cast of characters, undeveloped and highly conventionalized— the grieving father, the wronged and unrequited but forgiving lover, the pure and innocent sister, all juxtaposed to the fallen woman. As a result, we see a tragic situation but fail to experience the tragedy.

This distinction between showing and telling is perhaps the biggest distinction between the sentimental exiles and the tragic exile narratives. The narrator in each of the tales of "tragic" exiles— "Young Goodman

Brown," "Wakefield," "Ethan Brand," and "Feathertop"— fades into the background and, to a great degree, allows the characters themselves to show us where they go and what the journey does for them. In these stories,

Hawthorne does not distance the reader from the alienation of the protagonist's tragic choice.

"Young Goodman Brown" is perhaps the most famous of

Hawthorne's stories of exile. It typifies the pattern of the tragic exiles, in which the walk the protagonist takes plays a crucial role in his education. Critics have long recognized the importance of the journey as both symbol 13 and setting in "Young Goodman Brown." Daniel G. Hoffman remarks that the "singular quality of Young Goodman

Brown's adventure is the intensity with which the dramatic, theological, psychological, and cultural

13 See Matthiessen; Male; Newman; and others. 180 dimensions of the tale are fused together in the single structural metaphor of his journey into the dark forest and his return to the daylight world.And most critics acknowledge that for Goodman Brown the story has a tragic end because he fails to accept the dual nature of human life. Roy Male, for instance, explains that Brown's

"dying hour is gloom . . . because he fails to attain a tragic vision, a perspective broad enough and deep enough to see the dark night as an essential part of human experience, but a part that may preclude a new and richer 15 dawn." On the other hand, Paul W. Miller asserts that

Brown's gloomy outlook "need not be so regarded as it relates to the Young Goodman Browns of the future."

Rather, it may "be regarded as melioristic in outlook, 1 6 anticipating the dawning of a new and better day."

Randall Stewart says that Hawthorne "often remarks on the sympathy between sinners," and that "Goodman Brown's 17 vision of evil admitted him to a sinful brotherhood."

Richard Adams supports this interpretation at least

1 d Hoffman, p. 157.

^ Male, pp. 79-80.

16 Paul W. Miller, "Hawthorne's ’Young Goodman Brown': Cynicism of Meliorism," Nineteenth Century Fiction 14 (1959), 256.

17 Stewart, Hawthorne Biography, p. 262. 181 indirectly when he explains that "the most immediate apparent reason for the final state of Brown's mind is that he has been required to face and acknowledge the evil in himself and others, including his young wife, so as to be able to recognize the good, and has failed the test.

Having refused to look at evil, he is left in a state of 18 moral uncertainty that is worse than evil itself."

Despite opinion to the contrary, it is important to see that Goodman Brown gets just what he has been promised— and nothing more; to look for anything beyond the devil's grim promise to him misses the point of the story.

The events in "Young Goodman Brown" support Stewart's claim that Hawthorne saw man's sinfulness as a possible source of "sympathy between sinners," but not that Goodman

Brown ever found or felt that sympathetic brotherhood; he certainly does not go through the rest of his life with that sense. Likewise, despite his trying to refuse to look at evil, in spite of his ultimately not making the pact with the devil, he has been diabolically afforded the knowledge he initially sought as a way of tempting him to despair. As a result, Brown is left, not in a state of

"moral uncertainty," as Richard Adams states, but with the very certain, however mistaken, belief that good and evil cannot co-exist. Brown is left alone and desperate as a direct result of the way he chose to make his journey; his

18 R.P. Adams, p. 43, emphasis mine. 182 trip into the forest was from beginning to end solitary.

The evidence he must rely on to make his decision is observed by him alone and is filtered to him through the agency of the devil himself; and the visions that persuade him are observed, symbolically, when he is off the pathway and in the trackless wilderness of the forest, a distinction that, as David Smith points out, is always significant in Hawthorne.

Young Goodman Brown first appears to us in Salem village with his wife, Faith (NHCE X, 74). He makes his way into the forest at sunset along "a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest." The narrator tells us it is "all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveler knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that, with lonely footsteps, he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude" (NHCE X, 75). As evidenced by his measured gait, he is at first hesitant, even after meeting with the devil, his "fellow traveler," who tells him that this is

"a dull pace for the beginning of a journey" (NHCE X, 76).

Ironically, the devil tells Goodman Brown to "make good speed and persevere in the path." He overhears the devil's conversation with Goody Cloyse from a "cut through the woods" he has taken to avoid being seen by the old woman (NHCE X, 80). Later, after he has has decided to 183

return to Faith and refuse to contract with the Devil,

Goodman Brown is delayed when he again jumps off the path

and "into the verge of the woods" so as not to be seen by

the men he hears and recognizes as his pastor and the

deacon (NHCE X, 81). Just after he resolves "with Heaven

above and Faith below" to "stand firm against the devil,"

a cloud passing overhead obscures his view of heaven; the voices he hears and the pink ribbon that flutters down

from the clouds persuade him that Faith is also lost.

Only then does he give up his struggle against evil and

run through the forest on the vanishing path into "the heart of the wilderness" (NHCE X, 83).

When Goodman Brown arrives at the clearing where the meeting is to be held, he discovers that all the good and evil people of the village are gathered there. He observes that "the good [shrink] not from the wicked, nor

[are] the sinners abashed by the saints," but he fails to learn from this riddle that just as both good and evil are

interspersed among mankind, so both good and evil can be combined in any individual (NHCE X, 85). He approaches the congregation alone and prepares to make his pact with

the leader of the "loatheful brotherhood" surrounding him

(NHCE X, 86). The devil explains to Goodman Brown and to

Faith, who has come forward to stand next to him (it is significant, and symbolic of their isolation, that neither husband nor wife ever looks directly at the other), that 184 in exchange for their covenants they will be "partakers of the mystery of sin, more conscious of the secret guilt of others, both in deed and thought, than they could now be of their own." When Goodman Brown finally cries out to himself and his wife to "'Look up to Heaven and resist the wicked one!'" he dissolves the scene before him and is left "amid calm night and solitude, listening to a roar of the wind, which died heavily away through the forest"

(NHCE X, 88).

Goodman Brown is disappointed and amazed when the villagers that he saw the night before refuse to acknowledge their forest rendezvous. He cannot ask them about it because, by traveling alone to the forest on a forbidden errand, he has set the isolating terms that are part of his price for receiving the knowledge of evil.

Because he has made this journey into the wood alone,

Goodman Brown is entirely at the mercy of the devil for what he sees and hears. Significantly, his visions of others start only after he has met with the Evil One, and they stop after he has repudiated him directly. For the reader familiar with both Bunyan and the Bible there is an added irony to the outcome of Goodman Brown's tragic journey: in the Old Testament creation story, the knowledge of good always accompanies the knowledge of evil— Goodman Brown's "Faith" would have reminded him of that. However, alone and without a complete armory of 185 spiritual resources, without even a second set of eyes to verify what he hears and sees, Goodman Brown is forced to accept the vision of evil which is shown to him and to 19 deny the hope for his or anyone else's redemption.

In "Young Goodman Brown," this misled pilgrim makes his journey into the forest without significant commentary or evaluation from the narrator. The character's predicament, and not the narrator's commentary on it, creates the tragic vision in this story.

Newton Arvin calls the protagonist of "Wakefield" the prototype of "all those who, without appreciating the gravity of the step, turn aside from the normal system of 20 things and condemn themselves to irrevocable outlawry."

F. 0. Matthiessen points out the inability of "the isolated individual" to "respond to ordinary life" as the aspect of the story that most terrified Hawthorne 21 himself. While many critics ignore the narrator to focus on Wakefield's story, Neal Doubleday notes that

19 It is significant that the narrator does not share Goodman Brown's certainty that what he sees is what is really there. From the time he leaves the village at sunset to the time he returns to Salem at morn, Goodman Brown "seems" or "appears," according to the narrator, to see the Devil, the townspeople, the witch's meeting. The actions and the people he observes in the village,however, are described unequivocally as doing what the narrator says they are doing.

20 Arvin, pp. 57-58.

21 Matthiessen, p. 228. 186

"what success [’Wakefield'] has depends to begin with on a narrative point of view that imaginatively involves the 22 reader in the experiment." Doubleday's observation is especially pertinent if one remembers that the narrator leaves untold the scene between Wakefield and his wife after he returns home from his twenty-year absence.

Kenneth Dauber maintains that the story "tries to overcome" the alienation that it portrays by bringing the

reader and writer together in their observation and 23 evaluation of the story.

Although the narrator in "Wakefield" may seem to take a step backward in the direction of the narrators of the sentimental exiles, we will see that he is no more the arbiter of the tragedy than the narrator in "Young Goodman

Brown." He introduces the events of his story with a discursive anecdote about a nev/s article that inspired his meditation, but his circumlocution introduces the reader to the workings of Wakefield's mind and not his own.

Through him, the reader experiences what Wakefield experiences, and not merely the conventionalized opinions of contemporary society.

The story opens with the narrator musing over a newspaper item about a man who, "under pretense of going

22 Doubleday, p. 152.

23 Dauber, p. 60. 187 on a journey, took lodgings in the next street to his own house, and there, unheard of by his wife or friends, and without the shadow of a reason for self-banishment, dwelt upwards of twenty years. During that period, he beheld his home every day, and frequently the forlorn Mrs.

Wakefield. And after so great a gap . . . he entered the door one evening, quietly, as from a day's absence, and became a loving spouse till death" (NHCE IX, 130). The narrator comments that any subject that "so forcibly affects the mind" as this deserves contemplation, and so he invites the reader either to meditate by himself or to

"ramble with [him] through the twenty years of Wakefield's vagary" (NHCE IX, 131). The rest of the story chronicles several critical episodes in Wakefield's exile that make irrevocable his permanent separation from mankind. We see

Wakefield's preparation for his exile and his first day away; we watch as he observes his wife's illness, caused by his desertion; we see his reaction after he inadvertantly rubs shoulders with her, some ten years into his exile; and we see him enter the door of his home on the night of his return. Significantly, as I noted, we are not shown Wakefield's reunion with his wife, but from all that has passed we can infer that it is very likely a hollow event, symbolic of his inability to find his place in society.

The narrator in "Wakefield" presents us with a great deal of information about our central character and about his journey. We learn that he is possessed of a "certain sluggishness [that] would keep his heart at rest wherever it might be placed" (NHCE IX, 131). Like many of

Hawthorne's more learned scientists, he has journeyed from his laboratory (his home) with the eventual intention of observing his subject (his wife). When she falls ill from worry about him, he is "excited to something like energy of feeling"— but not enough to return. He does not realize that "her heart is sad, perhaps, but quiet; and let him return soon or late, it will never be feverish for him again" (NHCE IX, 136). It is Wakefield's

"unprecedented fate" to "retain his original share of human interests, while he had lost his reciprocal influence on them. It would be a most curious speculation, to trace out the effect of such circumstances on his heart and intellect, separately, and in unison.

Yet, changed as he was, he was seldom conscious of it"

(NHCE IX, 138, emphasis mine). His journey begins and ends at dusk, symbolizing the endlessness of his journey: as he walked out of the house and away from the community, so he re-enters, still separated from the community he barely knows he left; and like his initial exile, his eventual exile (i.e., his return home) occurs "with no suspicion of what is before him" and at an "unpremeditated moment," indicating that he has learned little or nothing 189 from his experience and is therefore not really prepared to return (NHCE IX, 132; 139).

Rash and curious, Wakefield journeys out of his own life and into the unknown. Unlike Reuben Bourne, he has no horrible secret to escape, and unlike Goodman Brown, no sense of guilt about the curiosity he wants to satisfy.

Wakefield is a purposeless journeyer, with no vision to lead him back to the community. He has "contrived, or rather he [has] happened, to dissever himself from the world— to vanish— to give up his place and privileges with living men, without being admitted among the dead. The life of a hermit is nowise parallel to his. He was in the bustle of the city, as of old; but the crowd swept by and saw him not" (NHCE IX, 138).

By the time Hawthorne wrote "Ethan Brand," he was in full control of both his narrative voice and the moral he wished to portray. The story of the lime-burner who returns to his kiln after an eighteen-year quest for the unpardonable sin highlights the irony of Brand's discovery by comparing him to the community, which sees his quest in a different light. Every opinion about the unpardonable sin is presented to us as either Brand's or the community's, and there is no real mediating voice.

Critics have been almost unanimous in their view that

Ethan Brand has transformed himself into a unique and isolated individual. Newton Arvin compares him to the 190 protagonists of Hawthorne's middle romances because, like them, he has "lost [his] hold on the magnetic chain of humanity." Likewise, Randall Stewart, Georg Roppen and

Richard Sommer, and Sheldon Liebman affirm that Brand has successfully cut himself off from society so that his end is an inevitable testament to his alienation.^

The details of "Ethan Brand" indicate, however, that the community does not consider him separate from itself.

As the representatives of the community— the moral center of the story— the lime burner Bartram and his little son,

Joe, react very differently to Brand and to his journey than do Brand himself and the critics that write about him; it is, of course, Bartram's and Joe's reactions that provide the more accurate picture of what Brand has done.

The story opens with Bartram sitting before the lime kiln at "nightfall," ready to begin his work. We learn that he and Joe sit "watching the same lime-kiln that had been the scene of Ethan Brand's solitary and meditative life, before he began his search for the Unpardonable Sin"

(NHCE XI, 84). Bartram is thus from the beginning identified with Brand in their shared occupation and opportunities for meditation. But also from the start,

Bartram chooses a different way of carrying out his job:

24 See Arvin, p. 187; Stewart, Hawthorne Biography, p. 248; Roppen and Sommer, p. 77; and Sheldon W. Liebman, "'Ethan Brand' and the Unpardonable Sin," American Transcendentalist Quarterly 24, Supp. 2 (1974), 9. 191 while Ethan Brand always worked alone, Bartram is accompanied by his young son. His first meeting with

Ethan Brand also tells much about the difference between

Brand's view of himself and the community's. When asked by Bartram whence he has come at so late an hour, Ethan

Brand replies, "’I come from my search . . . for at last it is finished,'" as if the lime burner should already know who he is and what he has been doing (NHCE XI, 8 6 ).

Ethan Brand has been so absorbed in his own affairs that it does not occur to him that this man whom he does not know might also not know him. He is further taken aback by Bartram's response to the question of whether he has heard of Ethan Brand. "’The man that went in search of the Unpardonable Sin?' asked Bartram with a laugh." Brand is more satisfied when Bartram tells him, "'They call it eighteen years since you left the foot of Graylock. But I can tell you, the good folks still talk about Ethan Brand, in the village yonder, and what a strange errand took him away from his lime-kiln'" (NHCE XI, 87, emphasis mine).

So everyone has Ethan Brand. His relationship with the community, at least as far as the community itself is concerned, has not been broken.

Further, the people are curious about the outcome of his quest, as evidenced in Bartram's curiosity about the unpardonable sin. Ethan Brand lays his finger on his heart and tells him it is "'Here'" (NHCE XI, 87). Bartram 192 makes no comment on Brand's answer, but he listens with horror as Brand laughs at the absurdity of discovering the object of his worldwide quest in his own heart. This absurdity is reflected in the dog which, "without the slightest suggestion from anybody else," begins to chase its tail, one "a great deal shorter than it should be."

Like the dog, Ethan Brand has engaged himself in pursuit of "an object that could not possibly be attained" (NHCE

XI, 96). Nevertheless, the community does not banish him.

Even as Bartram is horrified and somehwat repulsed by

Brand, he senses the wanderer's kinship to himself as he sits alone with him. He sends his son back to the village and then realizes that

the little fellow's presence had been a barrier

between his guest and himself, and that he must

now deal, heart to heart, with a man who, on his

own confession, had committed the only crime for

which heaven could afford no mercy. The crime,

in its indistinct blackness, seemed to

overshadow him. The lime-burner's own sins rose

up within him and made his memory riotous with a

throng of evil shapes that asserted their

kindred with the Master Sin, whatever it might

be, which it was within the scope of man's

corrupted nature to conceive and cherish. They

were all one family; they went to and fro 193

between his breast and Ethan Brand's, and

carried dark greetings from one to the other

(NHCE XI, 8 8 , emphasis mine).

Thus, Bartram realizes that no matter how horrible Ethan

Brand's deed has been he is still part of the human family.

Brand, on the other hand, continually tries to isolate and exalt himself over others by mentioning his quest. He exults in having committed

the sin of an intellect that triumphed over the

sense of brotherhood with man, and reverence for

God, and sacrificed everything to its own mighty

claims. The only sin that deserves a recompense

of immortal agony! Freely, were it to do again

would [he] incur the guilt. Unshrinkingly, [he

accepts] the retribution (NHCE XI, 90).

In spite of Ethan Brand's several claims to uniqueness, Bartram remains unconvinced.' "'The man's head is turned,' muttered the lime burner to himself. 'He may be a sinner, like the rest of us— nothing more likely'"

(NHCE XI, 90). Likewise, Bartram's son can still look upon Ethan Brand as someone like himself. As they prepare to leave the wanderer alone to watch the kiln, tears come to the boy's eyes, "for his tender spirit had an intuition of the bleak and terrible loneliness in which this man had enveloped himself" (NHCE XI, 98). Even after the community continues to demonstrate its acceptance of him, Ethan Brand spends his last energies

trying to assert his independence from mankind. He sits before the fire, marveling at what he has become. And

intuitively he senses that his isolation is all self-

imposed. He has "lost his hold on the magnetic chain of humanity" although humanity still has a hold on him (NHCE

XI, 99). He hurls himself into the fire in one last { attempt to sever his connections with mankind. But that also fails, and his final appearance is in a particularly human form. When Bartram and his son return to the kiln at daybreak, they find Brand's remains converted into lime; in the center of his ashes is the shape of a human heart, burnt into "special good lime." As he remarks on this, Bartram reaches out with his pole and crumbles the

"relics" of Ethan Brand into fragments (NHCE XI, 102).

Bartram's action, which closes the story, transforms

Brand's remains into the ashes and dust that are the destined form of all men and women and that symbolize

Brand's ultimate failure to achieve his goal. Ironically, the community still accepts him as a part of itself.

Ethan Brand's tragedy lies in his inability or his

refusal to see his connection to the community in spite of his transgressions against it. Unlike Wakefield, whose purposeless, unpremeditated journey caused him to be

forgotten by the world, Ethan Brand's deliberate, highly 195 visible quest affords society a way to await his return.

While both characters make choices to exile themselves,

Ethan Brand's is finally the more tragic because he always had the opportunity to return.

"Feathertop," probably the last short story that

Hawthorne wrote, is a distinct change of pace from the other exile narratives, especially the tragic exiles, for several reasons. All of its incidents are set in daylight, in the morning sunshine, and the central character is a work of witchcraft, a scarecrow given the ability of movement by virtue of some magic tobacco smoke.

The witch, Mother Rigby, makes the scarecrow for her cornpatch, but she is so taken by her creation that she proposes that it "go and play its part in the world" where

"not one man in a hundred . . . was gifted with more real substance than itself" (NHCE X, 232). Mother Rigby arrays her creation outlandishly, warns him not to let his pipe go out, and sends him into the village to woo the daughter of an overmighty windbag. She stands at the threshold,

"well pleased to see how the sunbeams glistened on him, as if all his magnificence were real" (NHCE X, 236).

Feathertop attracts much appreciative attention as he walks into town, although we are told that, after he discovers what he really is, others claim to have recognized from the beginning that something about him was amiss. All most people really notice, however, is his 196

total absorption with his pipe. He makes his way to the

home of Polly Gookin, whom he captivates with his courtly

manners and seemingly elegant dress. As they are

promenading the mirrored salon of her father's house,

Feathertop sees "not the glittering mockery of his outside

show, but a picture of the sordid patchwork of his real

composition, stript of all witchcraft" (NHCE X, 244). He

is horrified and dismayed at this discovery, and he leaves

a bewildered Polly to run home to proclaim to Mother

Rigby, "’I've seen myself, Mother!— I've seen myself for

the wretched, ragged, empty thing I am. I’ll exist no

longer'" (NHCE X, 245). With that pronouncement, hurling his pipe into a corner, where it is dashed to pieces,

Feathertop himself falls apart. Observing of her creation

that "his feelings are too tender, his sensibilities too deep" and that he "seems to have too much heart to bustle

for his own advantage, in such an empty and heartless world," Mother Rigby calls to her familiar for her new pipe and another coal to light it (NHCE X, 246).

This bitter indictment of superficial behavior paints a much darker picture of humanity as a whole than does

"Ethan Brand," where it is the community, rather than a scarecrow, that provides the moral center of the story.

By placing the offhanded criticism of Feathertop's sensitivity in the mouth of Mother Rigby, however,

Hawthorne points out the irony in Feathertop's situation: 197

that human society, an entity which Hawthorne sees as

distinct from the nurturing community, requires that an

individual squelch those characteristics which make him most human and present only a false, superficial picture

of himself to the world. The individual with the vision

to perceive himself as he really is cannot endure this,

and will surely perish.

The exile narratives, whether they are "sentimental" or "tragic," establish several important ideas and

settings that Hawthorne will develop more fully in the

romances. He will exploit the relationships among three or four people and the manner in which their psychological and/or spiritual journeys mesh and affect one another; he will explore the relationship between the individual and

society, as distinguished from the individual and community; and, in particular, he will explore how the

"magnetic chain of humanity" is forged so strongly that when it is broken, it is only by the most extreme force of will. Chapter V: The Image of Walking in Hawthorne's Romances

After the failure of his first published work, the novel Fanshawe, Hawthorne continued to write, but he concentrated his efforts on short fiction. Over the next twenty years, he published more than one hundred tales and sketches. Continually reworking the motifs and characters of Fanshawe, he achieved great success both in creating character and in the employment of allegory. But by the mid-1840s, William A. Charvat observes, Hawthorne was

"becoming dissatisfied with the short story. Not only did it seem to be as ephemeral as other periodical literature, but in the undeveloped magazine economy of those days, the pay was poor and slow."* William Spengemann believes that

Hawthorne was never happy with short fiction. Although he wrote "nothing but tales" for many years, Spengemann says,


does not appear to have considered the form an

artistic end in itself, but rather a way into a

longer work whose form would be original rather

than conventional. Several of the later tales

show signs of his initial hope that they would

develop into fullblown "romances." "Ethan

Brand" is subtitled "A Chapter from an Abortive

i William Charvat, "Introduction to The Scarlet Letter,11 The Centenary Edition, Volume I, p. x v m .

198 199

Romance," and The Scarlet Letter started out to

be a tale.2

It was not until Hawthorne had established himself as a writer that he again ventured to create a long fiction.

In these later works, he effectively involves his characters in journeys, rambles, and walks as experiential means of discovering truths that help them determine the course of their lives.

Hawthorne's narrators develop over the years from awkward and overbearing to sophisticated and subtle. As

Coleman Tharpe observes of the early works, the relationship between narrator and story "remains essentially static, the narrator functioning more or less as a reliable folk source for the legend. In many cases, with minor transformations in the framework, the told by the early oral narrators could easily be interchanged without radically altering the impact of the narrative unit. This is not the case in the romances, where the legends of Holgrave, Zenobia, and Donatello, however, grow dynamically out of the dark historical 3 events which control their lives."

Hawthorne's later romances also show his continued interest in the relationship between the individual and

2 Spengemann, p. 152.

3 Coleman W. Tharpe, "The Oral Storyteller in Hawthorne's Novels," Studies in Short Fiction 16 (1979), 208. 200 society. Newton Arvin points out that the protagonists of

Hawthorne's romances have all, "in their several ways, lost their hold on the magnetic chain of humanity.

Separations, divisions, and the starvation of their 4 spiritual lives is the fate that overtakes them all."

R.W.B. Lewis notes that Hawthorne acknowledged "the dependence of the individual, for nourishment, upon organized society (the city), and he believed that it was 5 imperative 'to open an intercourse with the world.'"

One of the most marked developments between the writing of Fanshawe and the later romances is in

Hawthorne's use of narrative discourse. Harold Toliver observes that "discursive insets from the author are sometimes necessary and beneficial. In their broader moments, they are compared to the higher prospects of interior narrators and interpreters when, in drawing back from the immediate action, they put the entire plot into focus.Although Hawthorne relies on discursive insets in all of his longer works, the insets in Fanshawe differ from those in all of the later romances. The digressions

^ Arvin, p. 187.

^ Lewis, pp. 113-114. See also Male, p. 177; Pearce, Essays, 1964, p. 222; Anderson, p. ix; and Spengemann, p. 153.

® Harold E. Toliver, Animate Illusions (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1974), pp. 315-26. 201 in Fanshawe, such as occur when the narrator describes the distractions brought about by Ellen Langton's arrival at

Harley College or the events leading up to Hugh Crombie's ownership of the inn, are irrelevant to our understanding of the principal characters. They are unlike the

"digressions" of the later romances, such as the long descriptions of the walks from the prison to the scaffold, the biography of Chillingworth, and the forest scenes that interrupt but clarify the story in The Scarlet Letter; or the story of Alice Pyncheon, which serves as a coda to the relationship between Phoebe and Holgrave, and the chapter entitled "Governor Pyncheon," which so graphically reveals

Jaffrey Pyncheon's relationship to the past and the present in The House of the Seven Gabies. The narrator's digressions in the later stories provide, as Toliver infers, an additional commentary which helps to "solidify our concept of certain relationships, our view of the worked design and eventually our belief in the mimetic 7 accuracy of the fiction."

Scholars have long been fascinated with Hawthorne's use of narrative voice. A summary of what has been said is interesting. Harry Levin believes that "the first person speaks more freely in the sketches . . . [while] in

7 Toliver, 1974, p. 327. g the tales, the narrator is more impersonal." This general observation ignores the increasingly successful attempts Hawthorne made to create a more personal voice in his third-person narrators by limiting their knowledge to that available to a central character. Neal Doubleday likewise maintains that Hawthorne's practice suggests that he "did a good deal of thinking about the techniques of g his narrative." J. Donald Crowley also supports the idea that Hawthorne was especially concerned with narrative, and he points to the various frames, introductions, and prefaces to prove that Hawthorne spent "almost as much artistic energy in creating ways to instruct his audience about how to read his fiction as he did in creating the 10 appropriate forms for the themselves."

Thomas Pauly observes that "Hawthorne could never write fiction without considering his relation to his audience. . . . [He] channeled a substantial amount of his creative energies into promoting among his readers an appreciation appropriate to the character and intent of 11 his artistic method." Kenneth Dauber remarks that

g Levin, p. 46.

g Doubleday, p. 249.

10 xu Crowley, "Unity," p. 43.

^ Pauly, p. 495. 203

Hawthorne was vitally concerned that the forms he used were broad enough "to reflect a significant segment of a 12 real population."

Concerning Hawthorne's narrators, Edgar Dryden says that some manage to "attain the invisibility and nonreciprocal sympathy posited as the ideal form of existence by the narrator of 'Sights from a Steeple.' The story of The House of the Seven Gables, for example, is told by a 'disembodied listener' who can see and hear everyone but who cannot, in turn, be seen or heard by them

(NHCE II, 30). Interestingly, however, the first-person narrators do not possess the same freedom. Like the speaker in 'Sights' they must 'descend at last from their lofty post' and 'resume (their) station on lower earth'(NHCE IX, 198)." In spite of his recognition that

Hawthorne's first-person narrators "point to Hawthorne's realization that 'we cannot see without being visible,'"

Dryden does not see that the narrator's choice to descend indicates he has learned that the life of a "spiritualized

Paul Pry" is after all not the ideal life he thought it was. ^

The scholars who have tried to address narrative in

Hawthorne in a general way have not seen or have not been

12 Kenneth Dauber, Rediscovering Hawthorne (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), p. 44.

Dryden, pp. 29, 30. interested in the process one can observe from his early to his late fiction. In the first-person stories,

Hawthorne learned to exhibit the narrator's awareness of the complexity of his journey in terms of the claims it makes on an individual, the responsibility it may distract from, and the conflict it presents between the necessity to return versus the desire to know. Eventually Hawthorne considered it more important to show the walk as a process of learning than to tell his readers that it was such, and so the first-person narrator became less necessary to

Hawthorne as a controlling device. Likewise the third- person narrator could eventually disappear as the moral center of a story. Hawthorne learned how to let the story tell itself as he became more aware of the meaningful use of the various images— for example, the symbolism of the forest, the pathless wilderness, the sunshine, the shadow, and the wanderer— and the effect those images could have.

Hawthorne uses the same devices to tell many of the stories: journeys, byways, and pathways in all of the romances highlight key events in the plot and provide the settings for the characters' central, discoveries and decisions. In Fanshawe these devices are not smoothly integrated into the plot, being no more than awkward devices designed to make the characters react in a certain way. in the novels of the 1850s, in which the journeys and their settings are natural extensions of the story, 205 their employment is more subtle, and more powerful.

I The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter, published in 1850, tells the story of Hester Prynne's spiritual journey from sin and isolation to forgiveness and community. Both the rambling walks Hester takes by the shore near her home and the more purposeful walks she takes into the forest serve as pointed symbols in the narrative development of her spiritual experience.

The narrator in The Scarlet Letter knows how to tell a story. He maintains both the suspense of the action and the integrity of the characters without compromising or contradicting himself or them. He uses images from travel literature and allusions to travelers from the early history of New England to establish his setting and tone.

His references to Ann Hutchinson, for example, remind the reader that while Hester may have been wrong in defying the community, she is equally wronged (NHCE I, 48, 165).

He significantly avoids comment in the early part of the romance on the actions of several characters, especially

Chillingworth, and it is only after these characters have established themselves and made their intentions clear to the reader that the narrator makes any subjective commentary upon them.

The setting of The Scarlet Letter is established primarily, as David Smith has noted of Fanshawe, in the emphasis on the relation of the path and the by-path. In

The Scarlet Letter, Boston represents the established pathway into a wilderness. Those who stand apart from the path or who come to it from the wilderness are continually called into question by those on the settled path. Edwin

Fussell points out that the action of the novel

"oscillates between ocean and forest" and that "when

Hester goes in search of Dimmesdale, she naturally seeks i him 'along the shores of the peninsula, or on the wooded hills of the neighboring country.'"*4 Randall Stewart points out that Hawthorne's lovers in The Scarlet Letter

"mentally re-enacted in the forest their sin (its first, physical commitment probably took place there, too), and the author says quite explicitly that the forest symbolizes 'moral error,' a going astray, a getting lost.

(This is directly reminiscent of Edmund Spenser's 15 'errour's wood' in The Faerie Queene.)"

David Smith, who has made the most thoroughgoing examination of the setting in The Scarlet Letter, says that we may "learn much about the intention of the novel by examining the pathways and byways taken by its pilgrims." The principal characters are defined "with respect to the . . . pathways they choose or avoid.

14 Fussell, p. 93.

15 Stewart, Christian Doctrine, p. 45. 4


Furthermore, the dramatic intensity of the story often depends upon the imagery of walking: climactic chapters, such as 'A Forest Walk' and 'The Procession' carry this 16 theme to its limits." The landscape, Leo Levy says, is an "index to the shifting and uncertain feelings of

[Arthur Dimmesdale] as he walks back to the Puritan 17 village." The setting is often highly stylized, Richard

Brodhead notes, and the walks the characters take are turned into a form of ritual. Brodhead uses the pageants that begin and end the story as primary examples,, noting at the same time that the "ritual is disrupted." Brodhead claims that this disruption suggests a "larger conflict in

The Scarlet Letter, . . . a strife between two modes of experience and understanding: one that tends toward restriction, fixity and orthodoxy, and one that tends toward a freer expression and recognition of the self's 18 desires, needs, and powers."

All of the major characters in The Scarlet Letter—

Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth,

Pearl, and the community to which they belong— are described by their relation to the pathways they walk.

Smith, p. 63.

^ Levy, p. 379.

18 Richard H. Brodhead, Hawthorne, Melville, and the Novel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), p! ?5. Edwin Fussell notes that, from early in the novel,

Chillingworth is described as "a nomad wanderer— the first term suggesting a reprehensible looseness, according to

the social-stages-of-history theory, the second a meritorious freedom, according to Hawthorne's view of the 19 native artist." David Smith calls Chillingworth a 2 0 "crooked wanderer among crooked bypaths." And indeed, he almost always either walks through the village or discusses his wanderings with the other characters. We

first see him when he is brought to Boston by the Indians to be ransomed from captivity. He describes himself as "a stranger, and . . . a wanderer, sorely against my will"; he reiterates this description for Hester, when, as he cares for her and Pearl in their prison cell, he tells her that elsewhere he is a "wanderer, and isolated from human interests" (NHCE I, 61, 76).

The narrator takes up Chillingworth's description of himself, calling him "a man, elderly, travel-worn, . . . just emerging from the perilous wilderness" (NHCE I, 118).

He reflects upon the strangeness of Chillingworth's choice to remain in Boston, as well as the intensity of his pursuit of Dimmesdale's secret sin. Chillingworth appears as a debased creature who becomes progressively more

19 Fussell, p. 109.

20 Smith, p. 63. debased, much as does Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost.

This transformation is described symbolically by the way he walks. While he is described as walking upright into

Boston with the Indians, he eventually appears in the image of a sinister creeper. We are told that he

"grope[s] along . . . stealthily" in his observation of

Dimmesdale (NHCE I, 130). By the time Hester determines to confront him and persuade him to leave Dimmesdale alone, he has "brought himself nearer to her level, or perhaps below it, by the revenge which he had stooped for." She goes out to confront him and finds him "with a basket on one arm, and a staff in the other hand, stooping along the ground, in quest of roots and herbs to concoct his medicines withal" (NHCE I, 167). As she tries to persuade Chillingworth to give up his pursuit, she belittles his actions by observing that he "treads behind"

Dimmesdale's "every footstep" (NHCE I, 170). Hester tells him that, like herself and Dimmesdale, he is "wandering in this gloomy maze of evil, and stumbling, at every step, over the guilt wherewith we have strewn our path," and she points out to him that he alone has the opportunity to escape that maze and walk freely if he will only forgive them (NHCE I, 173-174). But Chillingworth refuses, and so he turns away, "stooping away along the earth. He gathered here and there an herb, or grubbed up a root, and put it into the basket on his arm. His gray beard almost touched the ground, as he crept onward." Hester gazes after him a little while, looking "with a half-fantastic

curiosity to see whether the tender grass of early spring would not be blighted beneath him, and show the wavering

track of his footsteps, sere and brown, across its cheerful verdure" (NHCE I, 175). As she watches him, and

later over the next few days, she determines to tell

Arthur Dimmesdale about "the man who had crept into his

intimacy"(NHCE I, 182).

Chillingworth bears a strong resemblance to several of Hawthorne's earlier characters. Like Butler in

Fanshawe, he perceives that he has been unforgivably wronged by circumstances that are beyond his control, although unlike Butler he has chosen not to change the circumstances in which he places himself. Like Walter

Gascoigne in "The Lily's Quest," Chillingworth skulks around behind the young lovers, trying to play the spoiler, an attitude also reminiscent of the wizard in

"Alice Doane's Appeal," of the Devil in "Young Goodman

Brown," and of the Virtuoso in "The Virtuoso's

Collection." Like so many.of Hawthorne's earlier protagonists, including Reuben Bourne and Goodman Brown,

Chillingworth requires secrecy and deception to achieve his ends. But significantly and unlike Butler,

Chillingworth stands apart from Hester and Dimmesdale; v?e do not need constant comparison with them to see how evil 211 he really is.

Bruce Granger calls Arthur Dimmesdale a pilgrim, remarking that "like Job, like Bunyan's Christian,

Dimmesdale feels compelled to make his way alone."

Granger seems to agree with Dimmesdale that it is appropriate for the individual to "judge himself and 21 prescribe for his condition." Granger, however, sidesteps an important issue: Taking great pains to conceal his sin from the community, Dimmesdale at once wants approval from the community and reconciliation with it, at the same time knowing full well that he must risk the community's disapproval if he is to achieve reconciliation. David Smith point out the many ways that

Dimmesdale "reminds the reader of Bunyan's familiar emphasis upon the dangers of byways." He points out that

Dimmesdale goes into the forest to confer with the apostle

Eliot, an "unconventional Puritan divine whose schemes are radically Utopian," that he is called into the "pathless forest" by Hester, and that while he is like Christian in his continual carrying of the burden of his sin, his unburdening is "decidedly different than Christian's," for it "is Hester, not God's ministering angels," who 22 unburdens him.

21 Granger, p. 198.

^ Smith, pp. 64, 66-67. 212

In some ways it is appropriate that Hester endeavors to unburden Dimmesdale. Throughout the story, we see him always in relation to her and her journey, both physical and spiritual, away from and back to the community. The narrator points out early in the romance that it is on

Dimmesdale's account that Hester chooses to stay in

Boston, where "there trode the feet of one with whom she deemed herself connected in a union" (NHCE I, 80). At the end of the story, Dimmesdale likewise compares himself to her and describes his relationship to Hester and to the

rest of the community in terms of a journey. As he stands on the scaffold where Hester had stood in shame seven years before, he tells the people that

wherever her walk hath been,— wherever, so

miserably burdened, she may have hoped to find

repose,— [her sin] hath cast a lurid gleam of

awe and horrible repugnance round about her.

But there stood one in the midst of you, at

whose brand of sin and infamy ye have not

shuddered! . . . But he hid [his sin] cunningly

from men, and walked among you with the mien of

a spirit, mournful because so pure in a sinful

world!— and sad, because he missed his heavenly

kindred! (NHCE I, 254-255)

It is only as he is dying that Dimmesdale finally attempts to confess his sin to the community— who refuse to take 213 his meaning from the actions they observe.

Dimmesdale's relationship to the community— to Hester and Chillingworth, as well— is always portrayed as a symbolic journey. Chillingworth reminds him that

"Youthful men, not having taken a deep root, give up their hold of life so easily! And saintly men, who walk with God on earth, would fain be away, to walk with him on the golden pavements of the New Jerusalem" (NHCE I, 122). Of course, by the time he says this, Chillingworth realizes that Dimmesdale has been Hester's lover, and that his reference to "saintly men" will cut his patient to the quick. He goes about his work of revealing Dimmesdale most deliberately, encouraging him to walk along the seashore as Chillingworth gathers herbs and roots. These walks give the older man the opportunity to observe

Dimmesdale "both as he saw him in his ordinary life, keeping an accustomed pathway in the range of thoughts familiar to him, and as he appeared when thrown amidst other moral scenery, the novelty of which might call out something new to the surface of his character" (NHCE I,


Not until Hester sees Dimmesdale returning from his visit to Eliot's pulpit does she realize what a toll her silence and Chillingworth's torture have taken.

Naturally, she recognizes Dimmesdale as he walks,

leaning on a staff which he had cut by the way­ 214

side. He looked haggard and feeble, and

betrayed a nervous despondency in his air, which

had never so remarkably characterized him in his

walks about the settlement, nor in any other

situation where he deemed himself liable to

notice. There was a listlessness in his gait;

as if he saw no reason for taking one step

farther, nor felt any desire to do so, but would

have been glad, could he be glad of anything, to

fling himself down at the root of the nearest

tree, and lie there passive forevermore (NHCE I,


As Hester tells Dimmesdale the truth about

Chillingworth and his relation to herself, they realize that "life had never brought them a gloomier hour; it was the point whither their pathway had so long been tending, and darkening ever, as it stole along" (NHCE I, 195).

Both of them are nearly desperate to see a way out of their situation, but it is Hester who provides their solution. She first suggests that he could escape by walking into the forest. When Dimmesdale seems disinclined to leave through the woods, she suggests "the broad pathway of the sea" (NHCE I, 197). All that

Dimmesdale has created for himself in Boston, Hester promises, "shall not cumber thy steps, as thou treadest along the forest-path; neither shalt thou freight the ship 215 with it, if thou prefer to cross the sea." She pleads with him, "Leave this wreck and ruin here where it hath happened! Meddle no more with it! Begin all anew!" (NHCE

I, 198)

Dimmesdale is encouraged by Hester to forsake the community and exile himself with her. The excitement of his feelings, as he returns from his interview with her,

lent him unaccustomed physical energy, and

hurried him townward at a rapid pace. The

pathway among the woods seemed wilder, more

uncouth with its rude natural obstacles, and

less trodden by the foot of man, than he

remembered it on his outward journey. But he

leaped across the plashy places, thrust himself

through the clinging underbrush, climbed the

ascent, plunged into the hollow, and overcame,

in short, all the difficulties of the track,

with an unweariable activity that astonished

him. He could not but recall how feebly, and

with what frequent pauses for breath, he had

toiled over the same ground only two days before

(NHCE I, 216).

In his euphoric state of false freedom, Dimmesdale finds himself "at every step" incited to do some "strange, wild, wicked thing or other, with a sense that it would be at once involuntary and intentional; in spite of himself, yet 216 growing out of a profounder self than that which opposed the impulse" (NHCE I, 217). Likewise, when he returns to

Boston, the community members observe that "never, since

Mr. Dimmesdale first set his foot on the New England shore, had he exhibited such energy as was seen in the gait and air with which he kept his pace in the procession. There was no feebleness of step, as at other times; his frame was not bent" (NHCE I, 238).

Dimmesdale has several antecedents in earlier stories. Perhaps the earliest is the lost lady in "The

Hollow of the Three Hills," who is persuaded by the vision of the old crone that she can never go back to the family and community that she once left, and whose suffering kills her. A more pronounced antecedent of Dimmesdale is

Reuben Bourne, the would-be hero of "Roger Malvin's

Burial," who, like Dimmesdale, hides the truth about what happened to his father-in-law rather than risk the scorn of the community. It is only after many years, when he finally confesses to his wife that he left her father before he died in the forest, that he is able to reconcile himself to what he has done. Reuben Bourne anticipates

Dimmesdale, whose confession frees him to accept Pearl as his daughter and publicly embrace her before he dies.

Dimmesdale's excessive concern for his position in the community may be derived from the character of Robin in

"My Kinsman, Major Molineux." Like Robin, Dimmesdale is 217 always having to remind himself of who he is by announcing his position of respect in the community. Finally,

Dimmesdale's despairing sense of guilt over what he has done and his paralyzing fear lest it become public knowledge hearken back to the title character in "Young

Goodman Brown," who dies alone and in despair because he will not ask Faith if she resisted the evil one that night in the forest when he went alone to make his pact with the devil.

David Smith points out that neither Hester nor

Dimmesdale is "content like Christian to wait patiently until [she comes] to the place of deliverance where burdens will fall off by themselves." Rather both act upon

"an impulse toward unconstrained freedom bred in the chaos of the wilderness," and "cast off their burdens 23 prematurely." It is important to notice that Hester always appears in isolation, that she is seen "most characteristically" as a "lonely wanderer" and that "her sin leads her into a wilderness which spells confusion."

Smith further notes that "the pathless forest is a figure for the moral confusion of her mind."24

We first see Hester as she is "preceded by the beadle, and attended by an irregular procession of stern-

23 Smith, p. 70.

24 Smith, pp. 67-68. browed men and unkindly-visaged women," on her way to "the place appointed for her punishment" (NHCE I, 54). We quickly discover that she, like Chillingworth and

Dimmesdale, views her own life and life in general as a journey or a long walk from the past into the present. As she stands on the scaffold, Hester thinks about her past and discovers that "the scaffold of the pillory was a point of view that revealed to [her] the entire track along which she had been treading, since her happy infancy" (NHCE I, 58). When she is released from prison, the life she has ahead of her is described as an

"unattended walk from her prison-door" (NHCE I, 78-79).

Hester chooses to remain in Boston, "the scene and pathway that had been so fatal" (NHCE I, 80). She makes her home "on the outskirts of the town, within the verge of the peninsula, but not in close vicinity to any other habitation" (NHCE I, 81). She spends her time in solitude, "walking to and fro, with those lonely footsteps, in the little world with which she was outwardly connected" (NHCE I, 86). Hester never appears unless she is in motion; she takes walks on the shore, she moves through the town; we never actually see "Hester at her needle" or "Hester before the hearth," but rather always "Hester walking" (NHCE I, 93-94, 102, 133).

Dimmesdale likewise observes Hester, on the night when he goes to stand on the scaffold, as she moves through the 219 town after her errand at Governor winthrop's deathbed.

The community assumes that it is true repentance that brings "the poor wanderer," as she is called, back "to its paths" (NHCE I, 160). But Hester has left the community far behind, and the reader discovers that in the realm of

Hester's mind, at least,

the world's law was no law for her. . . . It

was an age in which the human intellect, newly

emancipated, had taken a more active and wider

range than for many centuries before. . . .

Hester Prynne imbibed this spirit. She assumed

a freedom of speculation, then common enough on

the other side of the Atlantic, but which our

forefathers, had they known of it, would have

held to be a deadlier crime than that

stigmatized by the scarlet letter. In her

lonesome cottage . . . Hester Prynne, whose

heart had lost its regular and healthy throb,

wandered without a clew in the dark labyrinth of

mind; now turned aside by an insurmountable

precipice; now starting back from a deep chasm.

There was wild and ghastly scenery all around

her, and a home and comfort nowhere (NHCE I,


It is only after seven years of this isolation that

Hester herself seems to realize that her life has changed. 220

It is in fact, her midnight observation of Dimmesdale at the scaffold that convinces her that the situation among herself, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale is one that she must change. We are told that,

strengthened by years of hard and solemn trial,

she felt herself no longer so inadequate to cope

with Roger Chillingworth as on that night,

abased by sin, and half maddened by the ignominy

that was still new, when they had talked,

together in the prison chamber. She had climbed

her way, since then, to a higher point. The old

man, on the other hand, had brought himself

nearer to her level, or perhaps below it, by the

revenge which he had stooped for (NHCE I, 167).

She determines to meet with Chillingworth, so she goes to the seashore to confront him as he searches for medicinal herbs and roots. Both Hester and Chillingworth speak of their situation as a metaphorical journey through life.

During their meeting, Hester remarks that there is "no path to guide [them] out of this dismal maze I" (NHCE I,

173) Chillingworth responds to her plea that he break out of the maze by forgiving her and Dimmesdale with a similar reference. "By thy first step awry," he says, "thou didst plant the germ of evil; but, since that moment, it has all been a dark necessity" (NHCE I, 174).

To tell him of Chillingworth's treachery, Hester meets with Dimmesdale near the road which, "from the peninsula to the mainland, was no other than a footpath.

It straggled onward into the mystery of the primeval forest. This hemmed it in so narrowly, and stood so black and dense on either side, and disclosed such imperfect glimpses of the sky above, that, to Hester's mind, it imaged not amiss the moral wilderness in which she had so long been wandering" (NHCE I, 183). She waits for

Dimmesdale near "the track that led through the forest, but still . . . under the deep shadow of the trees" (NHCE

I, 188). It is off the "beaten path," then, where Hester reveals to Dimmesdale that Chillingworth has for the previous seven years been his secret tormenter. As they contemplate the restrictions their situation imposes,

Hester thinks "how dreary looked the forest-track that led backward to the settlement" (NHCE I, 195). She is able to propose that they flee because "she had wandered, without rule or guidance, in a moral wilderness; as vast, as intricate and shadowy, as the untamed forest, amid the gloom of which they were now holding a colloquy that was to decide their fate. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods" (NHCE I, 199).

On Election Day, Hester plans to attend the sermon

Dimmesdale will deliver; she joins the rest of the townspeople as they prepare for the installation of their 222 new governor. It is while she is wandering through the village with Pearl that the captain of the packet ship with whom she, Pearl and Dimmesdale will make their escape tells her that Chillingworth will also make the voyage back to Europe. At this news, her "strong, calm, stedfastly enduring spirit almost sank, at last, on beholding this dark and grim countenance of an inevitable doom, which— at the moment when a passage seemed to open for the minister and herself out of their labyrinth of misery— showed itself, with an unrelenting smile, right in the midst of their path" (NHCE I, 245). But she continues to hope that there may be a way out. After Dimmesdale gives his sermon, he realizes that he will not outlast the day, and he finally recognizes that his only hope of reconciling himself to the community from which he has been secretly estranged is to confess publicly. He confesses his sin and dies with Hester and Pearl, publicly acknowledged, at his side.

Dimmesdale's confession frees not only himself, but also Hester and Pearl from the shadow under which they have lived for so long, and they leave Boston freely.

When Hester returns to New England, many years later, with

"no selfish ends," nor with "any measure for her own profit and enjoyment," she has a different relationship to the community. We learn that "people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besought her counsel, as one 223 who herself had gone through a mighty trouble" (NHCE I,


Hester shares certain characteristics with several earlier characters. Like Young Goodman Brown, she views the forest as a safe refuge from the scrutiny of the community, a place in which her mind can roam freely. Her sense of despair at the unchangeableness of her situation is likewise similar to his, as is her sense of isolation and helplessness. Like Richard Digby in "The Man of

Adamant," Hester eventually grows scornful of the community's ability to judge her, and a part of her choice to remain aloof is not, as the community supposes, her sense of inferiority to them, but rather her disdain. She shares with Ethan Brand a dangerous sense of the importance of her own interests, and she must suffer much before she changes.

The imagery characterizing Pearl in The Scarlet

Letter also describes her movement— especially how, where, and with whom she walks. She appears only with Hester, her movement being contrasted with Hester's, which is f stately and ceremonial, but deliberately wayward. Pearl is "constantly in motion from morn till sunset"; she

"skips irreverently"; she "flies like a bird"; she

"flit[s] along as lightly as one of the sea-birds"; she has an "undulating, but, oftentimes, a sharp and irregular movement" which indicates "the restless vivacity of her spirit"; she pursues a "zig-zag course" (NHCE I, 101, 133,

168, 178, 244, 245). The narrator's only criticism of

Pearl is that she "wanted— what some people want

throughout life— a grief that should deeply touch her, and

thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy" (NHCE I,

184). However, as the constant companion of her mother's

ignominy, Pearl is eventually afforded such a grief. At

the scaffold on Election Day, Dimmesdale, as he is dying,

recognizes her publicly as his child and asks if she will

come forward to kiss him. When she does so, "a spell [is] broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild

infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor for ever do battle with the world, but be a woman in

it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was all fulfilled" (NHCE I, 256).

Pearl is physically similar to many of the young girls in the earlier stories— Annie in "Little Annie's

Ramble," the spritely girl in "The Vision of the

Fountain"— but her character and function in The Scarlet

Letter resemble Ilbrahim's in "The Gentle Boy." She is alternately solemn and mischievous, but she is ever an instrument of salvation for her mother and father, much like Ilbrahim is for the Pearsons. Also, like Lilias Fay in "The Lily's Quest," she is something of a victim; she 225 must learn to read the events around her to understand her own life.

The setting in The Scarlet Letter continually shifts from the forest to the community, or from the path to the by-path. The characters often move in solemn procession, as in the opening chapters, when "the beadle, and [the] .

. . stern-browed men and unkindly-visaged women" lead

Hester Prynne to the scaffold to stand before the public with her child; and at the end, when "all came forth, to move in a procession before the people's eye, and thus impart a needed dignity to the simple framework of a government so newly constructed" (NHCE I, 54, 231). The central characters are usually participants, rarely mere spectators in these processions: as Hester is accompanied by the beadle and his retinue, so too is Dimmesdale accompanied by the same group of officials when he proceeds to the Election Day sermon and then from there to the scaffold for his fatal revelation. Chillingworth, also, has situated himself in the procession; he has, like

Hester, booked passage to Europe and will be taking "the broad pathway of the sea" (NHCE I, 197). On Election Day, he tries unsuccessfully to come between Hester and

Dimmesdale and the latter's determination to reveal his sin to the community. The use of the procession in The

Scarlet Letter owes much to Hawthorne's development of this image in earlier works such as "My Kinsman, Major 226

Molineux," "Sights from a Steeple," "Little Annie's

Ramble," "Sunday at Home," "The Toll-Gatherer's Day," and

"The Procession of Life." In all of these stories, we can find the vocabulary Hawthorne uses to define the people of

Boston in the romance, how they move around and apart from the principal characters, and what their relationship is to Hester, Chillingworth and Dimmesdale.

II The House of the Seven Gables

The narrative pattern of The House of the Seven

Gables uses the process of walking to demonstrate the ordinariness of daily life. Richard B. Brodhead comments that "having once recorded all the comings and goings of an ordinary day on Pyncheon Street," Hawthorne "repeats 25 this round again and again." Edgar Dryden points to the

"parade of life" passage in The House of the Seven Gables as one which suggests "the enchantment of distance may result in an unusual reversal of attitude[:] that which once seemed petty and oppressive may become majestic and 0 6 magnetic."

The central characters of The House of the Seven

Gables are distinguished in many ways from the rest of the community. One of their most significant distinctions is that they do not participate in the regular pattern of

Brodhead, p. 70.

Dryden, p. 34. 227 movement that circles the old house. Hepzibah, for example, according to F. 0. Matthiessen, "had lived so long alone in the house that its dry-rot had begun to eat into her mind. 'She needed'— and we know how much

Hawthorne implied in such a remark— 'a walk along the 27 noonday street to keep her sane.'" David Smith notes

"the obvious identification of Clifford and Hepzibah . . . with Christian and Hopeful fleeing Doubting Castle (Judge

Pyncheon having become Giant Despair)"; he calls this "yet another example of Hawthorne's habit of turning to Bunyan as a major source of imagery at [a] crucial point in the 28 development of his [story]."

Hepzibah first appears as she "steps into the dusky, time-darkened passage; a tall figure, clad in black silk, with a long, shrunken waist, feeling her way towards the stairs like a near-sighted person, as in truth she is"

(NHCE II, 32). She prepares to open her "intercourse with the world" by opening a cent shop, and she is none too pleased with the prospect. Her young tenant, the

Daguerreotypist Holgrave, tries to encourage her by telling her that "Hitherto, the life-blood has been gradually chilling in [her] veins, as [she] sat aloof, within [her] circle of gentility, while the rest of the

27 Matthiessen, p. 340.

28 Smith, p. 131, n .18 . 228 world was fighting out its battle with one kind of necessity or another" and that, from now on, she will "at least have the sense of healthy and natural effort for a purpose, and of lending [her] strength— be it great or small— to the united struggle of mankind" (NHCE II, 44-

45). He later tells her young cousin Phoebe that

Hepzibah, "by secluding herself from society, has lost all true relation with it, and is in fact dead; although she galvanizes herself into a semblance of life, and stands behind her counter, afflicting the world with a greatly- to-be-deprecated scowl" (NHCE II, 216).

Hepzibah has always "sat aloof" from the common stream of life. Uncle Venner remembers her as a child

"sitting at the threshold and looking gravely into the street"; she does much the same in her old age (NHCE II,

62). She most often appears to be "walking in a dream; or, more truly, the vivid life and reality assumed by her emotions, made all outward occurrences unsubstantial, like the teasing phantasms of a half-conscious slumber" (NHCE

II, 66).

Hepzibah is an unwilling traveler on the pilgrimage of life. When she and Clifford flee the gabled house after they discover Jaffrey dead in the front room, she finds "the world's broad, bleak atmosphere . . . all so comfortless!" Hepzibah and Clifford wander "all abroad, on precisely such a pilgrimage as a child often meditates, to the world's end, with perhaps a six pence and a biscuit

in his pocket." In Hepzibah's mind, especially, there was

"the wretched consciousness of being adrift. She had lost

the faculty of self-guidance, but, in view of the difficulties around her, felt it hardly worth an effort to

regain it, and was, moreover, incapable of making one"

(NHCE II, 253). She is unable to comprehend the changes

taking place as she flees her lifelong home; especially

once she has boarded the train does her confusion

increase, for "fast and far as they had rattled and

clattered along the iron track, they might just as well, as regarded Hepzibah's mental images, have been passing up and down Pyncheon-street" (NHCE II, 258). When Hepzibah

finally returns to her home, it is with footsteps "not harsh, bold, decided, and intrusive, as the gait of

strangers would naturally be, making authoritative entrance into a dwelling where they knew themselves unwelcome. It was feeble, as of persons either weak or weary" (NHCE III, 308). Hepzibah never adjusts to the outside world; as Clifford remarks, it is too late for

f them to take their place "among human beings."

Hepzibah may be derived in part from an idea in the story "David Swan," about the youth who falls asleep on

the roadside as he waits for the coach to take him to town to seek his fortune; while he sleeps, his fortune passes him by. Hepzibah seems to prefer the reflective life, 230 similar to many of Hawthorne's first-person narrators, who watch the goings-on around them unobserved. However, like the narrator in "The Intelligence Office," Hepzibah has removed herself so far from the path of life that she can no longer hear and understand what goes on there.

Hepzibah's brother, Clifford, also isolated from the common life, is characterized by his relationship to the movement of the outside community. Phoebe first recognizes him only as "a step in the passageway upstairs,

. . . which had passed upward, as through her dream, in the night-time." She observes that

the approaching guest, whoever it might be,

appeared to pause at the head of the staircase;

he paused, twice or thrice, in the descent; he

paused again at the foot. Each time, the delay

seemed to be without purpose, but rather from a

forgetfulness of the purpose which had set him

in motion, or as if the person's feet came

involuntarily to a standstill, because the

motive power was too feeble to sustain his

progress. Finally he made a long pause at the

threshold of the parlor (NHCE II, 103).

For the narrator, Clifford likewise is a wanderer, in some ways akin to the "earth-stepper" of Anglo Saxon poetry, the once-proud knight who wanders aimlessly in search of a connection with his past. Both are described as "poor, 231 forlorn voyager[s] from the Islands of the Blest, in a frail bark, on a tempestuous sea, [who] had been flung, by the last mountain-wave of [their] shipwreck, into a quiet harbor" (NHCE II, 142). One look at Clifford's face reveals

that his footsteps must necessarily be such an

one as that which— slowly, and with as

indefinite an aim as a child's first journey

across a floor— had just brought him hitherward.

Yet there were no tokens that his physical

strength might not have sufficed for a free and

determined gait. It was the spirit of the man,

that could not walk (NHCE II, 103-104).

Only the presence of young Phoebe can break the "veil of decay and ruin" that separates Clifford from the rest of the world: whenever she is "a long while absent,"

Clifford becomes "pettish and nervously restless, pacing the room to-and-fro, with the uncertainty that characterized all his movements" (NHCE II, 138).

The other characters in the story also see Clifford as a displaced person. Holgrave tells Phoebe that

Clifford is "another dead and long-buried person, on whom the Governor and Council have wrought a necromantic miracle" (NHCE II, 216). Hepzibah likewise imagines the figure of

her wretched brother . . . wandering through 232

the city, attracting all eyes* and everybody's

wonder and repugnance, like a ghost, the more to

be shuddered at because visible at noontide. To

incur the ridicule of the younger crowd, that

knew him not; the harsher scorn and indignation

of a few old men, who might recall his once

familiar features! .... Should her brother's

aimless footsteps stray hitherward, and he but

bend, one moment, over the deep, black tide,

would he not bethink himself that here was the

sure refuge within his reach, and that, with a

single step, or the slightest overbalance of his

body, he might be forever beyond his kinsman's

gripe? (NHCE II, 247-248)

Similar to Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter,

Clifford is a wanderer against his will. However, he has no grudge to bear against mankind; he desires "nothing so much as to be led back" to "the common track of things"

(NHCE II, 140-141). Perhaps it is for this reason that he is impelled to try to join the parade that passes by his window one afternoon. The narrator speculates that

"possibly, in a sense, Clifford .... needed a shock; or perhaps he required to take a deep, deep plunge into the ocean of human life, and to sink down and be covered by its profoundness, and then to emerge, sobered, invigorated, restored to the world and to himself" (NHCE 233

II, 166).

Clifford resembles Fanshawe, whose academic pursuits isolate him from the common life; Clifford has initially been isolated by his aesthetic interests, and we learn that these left him ill-equipped to disprove Jaffrey's insinuations that he murdered their uncle. He is a victim like Ilbrahim, caught between conflicting interests, and like Wakefield he is an "outcast of the universe."

Clifford and Hepzibah Pyncheon are presented throughout The House of the Seven Gables as individuals who are permanently isolated from the mainstream of life.

It is important to note that Hepzibah and Clifford both conceive of life as a procession themselves, and though unable, they are not unwilling to join the parade. Their attitude is their saving grace, and it distinguishes them sharply from their cousin Jaffrey.

Jaffrey Pyncheon is the only one of the principal figures in The House of the Seven Gables who is not portrayed as journeying. Neither does he think of himself in terms of life's procession. Rather Jaffrey considers himself the still point of the turning world. He is often seen, and indeed sees himself, in reference to the sun.

When Phoebe first meets him and shies away from his ostensibly fraternal kiss, the narrator excuses her with the comment that "although Judge Pyncheon's glowing benignity might not be absolutely unpleasant to the feminine beholder, with the width of a street or even an ordinary sized room interposed in between, yet it became quite too intense, when this dark, full-fed physiognomy

(so roughly bearded, too, that no razor could ever make it smooth) sought to bring itself into actual contact with the object of its regards" (NHCE II, 118). Jaffrey deals with Hepzibah in an equally "glowing" manner. "Being a gentleman of sturdy nerves," the narrator tells us,

Jaffrey "failed not to approach his cousin with outstretched hand; adopting the sensible precaution, however, to cover his advance with a smile, so broad and sultry, that, had it been only half as warm as it looked, a trellis of grapes might at once have turned purple under its summer-like exposure" (NHCE II, 127). When he leaves the house on Pyncheon-street after his unsuccessful attempt to confront Clifford, we are told that "an extra passage of the water-carts was found essential, in order to lay the dust occasioned by so much extra sunshine!"

(NHCE II, 130-131)

Jaffrey has spent his entire life hiding not only his own part in his uncle's death but also Clifford's innocence; he has deceived not only the broken-spirited

Clifford but also himself. Rather than characterize himself by what the narrator ironically calls "that one necessary deed . . . that half-forgotten act," Jaffrey creates himself anew. He becomes a "hard, cold man, thus 235 unfortunately situated, seldom or never looking inward, and resolutely taking his idea of himself from what purports to be his image, as reflected in the mirror of public opinion," and he can "scarcely arrive at true self- knowledge, except through loss of property and reputation"

(NHCE II, 231-232). Looking at the world as a system of inert commodities— himself most valuable, others, less so-

-Jaffrey effectively makes it impossible to connect himself to the movement of others. In a more lasting way than Clifford, Jaffrey has cast himself out of society.

Jaffrey's unmitigated malevolence ties him directly to Butler in Fanshawe although, unlike Butler, he has chosen evil and deluded himself into believing he is not so bad after all. Like Walter Gascoigne in "The Lily's

Quest" and Mother Rigby in "Feathertop," Jaffrey plays the role of the spoiler who disabuses others of their belief in the simplicity of life. Jaffrey's decision to be wealthy and powerful has corrupted him just as

Chillingworth is poisoned by the choice of .

Phoebe is the one member of the Pyncheon family who has been and will remain an active participant in the procession of life. An unaffected innocent, she is often characterized as sweet and birdlike, with a "natural tunefulness" that "conveyed the idea that the stream of life warbled through her heart as a brook sometimes warbles through a pleasant little dell" (NHCE II, 76). 236

Her journey remains close to home; she is several times

referred to as "a little housewife" (NHCE II, 136, 140-

141). The narrator tells us that "the path, which would

best have suited [Phoebe], was the well-worn track of

ordinary life" (NHCE II, 142). On the other hand, she

"now and then indulged her brisk impulses, and breathed

rural air in a suburban walk" (NHCE II, 174). To Uncle

Venner she is "as familiar to [him] as if [he] had found

[her] at my mother's door, and [she] had blossomed, like a

running vine, all along [his] pathway since," an image which combines both the home and the journey (NHCE II,

221). Her relationship to the society outside her home is

as important as the doemstic life she creates with such a natural grace. When she returns from her trip to the

country to find the house empty except for Holgrave and

the dead Jaffrey Pyncheon, her first concern is public opinion. She feels a "horror" at "thus finding herself at

issue with society, and brought in contact with an event that transcended ordinary rules" and is "in haste . . . to betake [herself] within the precincts of common life"

(NHCE II, 305) .

Although Phoebe is fond of Holgrave, when he professes his love for her she fears that he will "lead

[her] out of [her] own quiet path." She tells him, "'You will make me strive to follow you, where it is pathless.

I cannot do so. It is not my nature. I will sink down, 237 and perish!'" (NHCE II, 306). Only when Holgrave assures her that he too wishes to step onto the "quiet path" does she pledge her troth to him.

It is hard to say how Phoebe is descended from many of Hawthorne's earlier women. She is not a suffering ■ figure, like Hester; neither is she the vapid, almost idiotically carefree muse that Ellen Langton plays in

Fanshawe. Yet, in a sense, Phoebe is derived from both types. Clearly her steady tread on the common pathway of life makes her a good and a thoughtful person, but she is too perfect to be believable. She is able to learn from the experiences of others in a way that no other of

Hawthorne's characters has— or does. She also shares many characteristics with Pearl, although she is a more developed character than the little girl of The Scarlet

Letter. She is an instrument in the humanizing process at work in Holgrave, in Hepzibah, and in Clifford, but she herself comes to be a more compassionate and more "Human" being as well.

The Daguerreotypist Holgrave, Hepzibah's young boarder, is, like Phoebe, a more active participant in life outside the house on Pyncheon-street. He has been

"homeless," continually "changing his whereabout, and therefore responsible neither to public opinion nor to individuals— putting off one exterior, and snatching up another, to be soon shifted for a third." Nevertheless, 238

Holgrave is not a Chillingworth; he has never "violated the innermost man," but has always "carried his conscience along with him" (NHCE II, 177). He tells Phoebe that he is a "mere observer" who may be "pretty certain to go astray" (NHCE II, 179). Holgrave is a "thinker" interested in new ideas, curious about the world around him, but foremost a man who accepts responsibility for his actions and weighs the importance of any discoveries he might make in light of their cost. For example, when he realizes that he has almost mesmerized Phoebe while telling her the story of Alice Pyncheon, he chooses not to bring her absolutely under his power. We are told that

to a disposition like Holgrave's at once

speculative and active, there is no temptation

so great as the opportunity of acquiring empire

over the human spirit; nor any idea more

seductive to a young man, than to become the

arbiter of a young girl's destiny. Let us

therefore— whatever his defects of nature and

education, and in spite of his scorn for creeds

and institutions— concede to the Daguerreotypist

the rare and high quality of reverence for

another's individuality. Let us allow him

integrity, also, forever after to be confided

in; since he forbade himself to twine that one

link more, which might have rendered his spell 239

over Phoebe indissoluble (NHCE II, 211-212).

Moreover, he is unwilling to allow Hepzibah and Clifford

to be destroyed by the events that go on about them. He

tells Phoebe,

"It is not my impulse— as regards these two

individuals— either to help or hinder; but to

look on, to analyze, to explain matters to

myself, and to comprehend the drama which, for

almost two hundred years, has been dragging its

slow length over the ground, where you and I now

tread. If permitted to witness the close, I

doubt not to derive a moral satisfaction from

it, go matters how they may. There is a

conviction within me, that the end draws nigh.

But, though Providence sent you hither to help,

and sends me only as a privileged and meet

spectator, I pledge myself to lend these

unfortunate beings whatever aid I can!" (NHCE

II, 216-217)

It is important that Holgrave chooses to go against his "impulse" to observe, and thus steps forward to help

Hepzibah and Clifford. He elects to attach himself to the

"chain of humanity," realizing through his own experience as well as his observation of Clifford that "the happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits" (NHCE

II, 306). Holgrave's speculative attitude about life seems to have its roots in several of Hawthorne's first person narrators, especially the narrators of "Sights from a

Steeple" and "Little Annie's Ramble," who take a benevolent attitude toward the larger community while maintaining their distance. Similar to the narrators of

"My Visit to Niagara" and "Old Ticonderoga," Holgrave is willing to let the past teach him about the present. And like the narrators of "Night Sketches" and "Footprints on the Sea-shore," he takes the time to reflect on the course his own life has taken and chooses to set its limits with the community's. Although he, like Chillingworth, is the only one of the characters in his story to understand the complexity of their relationships, he does not exploit that knowledge.

Perhaps the most intriguing participant in the story of the Pyncheon family is the old house itself. From the beginning of the romance to the end, the house and its situation on the street serve as a commentary to the action that goes on within, encompassing, like Phoebe, the combined imagery of the hearth and the open road.

Significantly, the house sits on a "by-street," with its seven gables facing "towards various points of the compass," with a "huge, clustered chimney in the midst"

(NHCE II, 5). The house is continually related to the rest of the community through the street, which is at 241 various times widened, narrowed, busy, and practically deserted. From the house, Phoebe is able to help bring

Clifford back into a more normal relationship with the world. She suggests that he watch from an upper window, so that he can see the parade of life as it passes.

The house often reflects the mood of its inhabitants.

Under Phoebe's care it becomes cheerier; when she is gone, and Jaffrey comes to demand of Clifford the secret of the old house, Hepzibah discovers that it had never "appeared so dismal"; she feels that there is a

strange aspect in it. As she trode along the

foot-worn passages, and opened one crazy door

after another, and ascended the creaking

staircase, she gazed wistfully and fearfully

around. It would have been no marvel, to her

excited mind, if, behind her there had been the

rustle of dead people's garments, or pale

visages awaiting her on the landing place above

(NHCE II, 240).

The narrator, having described the activities of the late f Pyncheons who keep vigil with the newly dead Jaffrey, tells us that the ringing of the shop-bell provides a welcome respite from the heavy tale; it is good, he says,

"to be made sensible that there is a living world, and that even this old, lonely mansion retains some manner of connection with it" (NHCE II, 283). The house symbolizes 242 both the result of neglecting human relationships and the inextricable connection individuals have with one another.

Another important "character" in The House of the

Seven Gables is the community outside of the house. The narrator— who presents himself as a disembodied member of this community— often tells us of their activities as they patronize Hepzibah's cent shop or observe the Pyncheons in their garden. Their actions serve as the ideal that

Hepzibah and Clifford will never fully reach, but which

Phoebe and Holgrave epitomize. Hawthorne's

"characterization" of the house and the community is clearly derived from the stories, especially from the

"processionals," which establish the necessity of choosing to share in the common life if one's individual life is to have any meaning. Ill The Blithedale Romance

Although The Blithedale Romance was originally popular on account of the speculation it raised concerning

Hawthorne's experiences at and the supposedly biographical origins of many of its incidents and characters, it has never been as widely read as The

Scarlet Letter or The House of the Seven Gables.

Nevertheless, it provides an interesting practical study of Hawthorne's theories about narrative. As Daniel Marder points out, it is Hawthorne's only "completed effort to render a story from the confined point of view of an 243 observer-participant." "Although his purpose in joining the society at Blithedale was to be an active member,"

Marder comments, "Coverdale is far more observer than 29 participant." Many critics have complained that

Hawthorne shows his ineptitude at narrative in The

Blithedale Romance; Frederick Crews was the first to argue that Coverdale's limitations as a narrator are his own, not Hawthorne's. The story, he writes, "is not the center of attention; it is the act of telling that is important .,"3 ^

David Smith, speaking of Coverdale as a character rather than a narrator, asserts that Hawthorne created in him "what had by then become in his work a characteristic figure: the disingenuous pilgrim trapped in an ambiguous world midway between the forsaken City of Destruction and 31 the sought after Celestial City." He insists, furthermore, that

the models for the principal characters in The

Blithedale Romance seemed to have originated, at

least in part, from the relationships which

exist between the characters in the Second Part

29 Marder, p. 67.

30 Frederick C. Crews, "A New Reading of The Blithedale Romance," American Literature 29 (1957), 149.

31 Smith, p. 14. 244

of The Pilgrim's Progress. The imaginative

prototype for Hollingsworth is Great-heart. . .

The prototype for Priscilla . . . is Mercy. .

. . And in a very general sense, Christiana 32 herself is the prototype for Zenobia.

Coverdale is an extremely self-conscious narrator; he likens his story to a pilgrimage, opening it, as Chaucer did The Canterbury Tales, on "an April day . . . well towards the middle of the month." He has left his

"comfortable quarters, and plunged into the heart of the pitiless snow-storm, in quest of a better life" (NHCE III,

10). His pilgrimage, however, is very different from

Chaucer's, which was accompanied by the beginning of new life. This snowy April day, he says,

makes the buildings seem to press too closely

upon us, insomuch that our mighty hearts found

barely room enough to throb between them. The

snow-fall, too, looked inexpressibly dreary, (I

had almost called it dingy,) coming down through

an atmosphere of city-smoke, and alighting on

the sidewalk, only to be moulded into the

impress of somebody's patched boot or overshoe.

Thus the track of an old conventionalism was

visible on what was freshest from the sky (NHCE

III, 11).

32 Smith, p. 76. Of course, the allusions to Bunyan's pilgrimage and to walking in general are strong here, too.

Coverdale is a reluctant participant, but an apparently willing observer of all he sees. Readily developing opinions of his companions at Blithedale, he focuses his attention on Zenobia, Hollingsworth, and

Priscilla quickly, his life becoming totally absorbed in theirs. Coverdale focuses on himself only when he is alone in the woods surrounding Blithedale, taking one of the walks which he alleges suggest the "brisk throb of human life, in which [he] shared" (NHCE III, 40).

Coverdale's walks through the trackless undergrowth enabl him to eavesdrop on the other members of the Blithedale community, especially Zenobia, as they walk the paths.

However, his insistence on walking off the path impedes a clear knowledge of what he sees. Like Richard Digby in

"The Man of Adamant," Coverdale mistakes isolation for individuality. His trips into the forest mirror his emotional state; he "hurries" away, walking "swiftly, as if the heavy floodtide of social life were roaring at

[his] heels, and would outstrip and overwhelm [him], without all the bitter diligence of [his] escape" (NHCE

III, 89). Ironically, he is unable to escape the surrogate life he has made: during one excursion, he observes Zenobia and an unidentified visitor as they walk in the woods while having a heated discussion. Coverdale is typically curious about Zenobia's doings, but he cannot hear her because he is too far away. As he leaves the woods, he identifies his "own part" as "that of the Chorus in a classic play, which seems to be set aloof from the possibility of personal concernment, and bestows the whole measure of its hope or fear, its exultation or sorrow, on the fortunes of others, between whom and itself this sympathy is the only bond" (NHCE III, 97). Unlike

Coverdale, the classical Greek chorus took its rightful place representing the community whose destiny was inextricably connected to the fortunes of the tragic hero.

Coverdale misreads his part, doing himself and his subjects a grave injustice by maintaining his distance from their actions.

Nevertheless, Coverdale is always there to observe his friends at times of high drama or crisis. In late summer, he takes a vacation from Blithedale, claiming that his health "demands a little relaxation of labor, and a short visit to the sea-side, during the dog-days" (NHCE

III, 137). In truth, Coverdale has grown tired of observing his friends to no purpose. "The train of thoughts which, for months past, had worn a track through my mind," he notes, "and to escape which was one of my chief objects in leaving Blithedale, kept treading remorselessly to-and-fro, in their old footsteps, while slumber left me impotent to regulate them" (NHCE III, 247

153). Ironically, when he gets back to town and settles himself in a hotel away from his usual circle of acquaintances, he finds himself rooming across the back yard from a house occupied by Zenobia, Priscilla, and

Westervelt— the mysterious visitor Coverdale had observed at Blithedale.

Having discovered that Zenobia has betrayed Priscilla and not knowing precisely what to make of it, Coverdale

returns "on foot, [to] Blithedale . . . conscious that nobody would be quite overjoyed to greet him there" (NHCE

III, 204). While walking, he admits at last that his

"interest to learn the up-shot of all [his] story" is his

"sole purpose for returning to Blithedale" (NHCE III,


Because Coverdale is so self-serving, he plays no real part in the confrontation he discovers taking place among Hollingsworth, Priscilla, and Zenobia. He has arrived late precisely because he has chosen to hide himself; he is as much in the dark as he was before.

Ironically, the only action he takes in the story is to help dredge the river for Zenobia's body; the only assistance he can offer to bring her back to the community comes too late to be of any use to her. He has achieved nothing for himself, either. Proclaiming himself "at loose ends," he laments that he would return to Blithedale if any of his old comrades had remained and succeeded at

'■ 'V 248 building the community they had planned. Coverdale

remains unwilling to actively assist in realizing that vision.

Hawthorne seems to have drawn on several of his earlier characters, particularly the first person narrators, to flesh out his portrayal of Miles Coverdale, who lives the life of the "spiritualized Paul Pry" described in "Sights from a Steeple." Taking the same superlatively moralistic attitude about his isolation as the narrator of "Sundays at Home," Coverdale also

resembles the narrator of "The Intelligence Office" who, in his attempt to sequester himself cannot hear what the

Chief Intelligencer tells the Truth-Seeker about the meaning of life. Like Oberon of "Fragments from the

Journal of a Solitary Man," Coverdale is a poet who has set for himself the ambitious task of doing something great for mankind; like Oberon, too, he fails. Coverdale differs from the earlier poet in his failure to learn that only when one chooses to act in concert with one's fellows can he hope to achieve any of his aspirations. Coverdale will spend his whole life longing for a communion he will never have.

Zenobia is the antithesis of the withdrawn, inactive

Coverdale. Her whole life is a Herculean movement toward involvement in the active life. Much like Coverdale, however, she resents the intrusion of public scrutiny. Coverdale himself tells us that "Zenobia" is "merely her public name; a sort of mask in which she comes before the world, retaining all the privileges of privacy— a contrivance, in short, like the white drapery of the

Veiled Lady, only a little more transparent" (NHCE III,

8 ). Rather than withdraw from the world of engagement with others, Zenobia chooses to masquerade and attempt a double life; this complicates her relationships with the other characters. On the one hand, she professes to be a follower of Hollingsworth's noble ideas, proclaiming her interest in his plans for reform; she always champions him in the face of Coverdale's skepticism. On the other hand, she is in love with the man and would do anything to win his love in return. The larger community at Blithedale

recognizes her sentiments; Coverdale tells us that "the

Community set them down as a pair of lovers. They took walks together, and were not seldom encountered in the wood-paths. . . . Oftener than anywhere else, they went to a certain point on the slope of a pasture, commanding nearly the whole of our own domain, besides a view of the river and an airy prospect of the distant hills" (NHCE

III, 79-80). Zenobia's delicate temperament goes unnoticed by her would-be lover— and by her close observer, Coverdale, who fails to recognize her true nature, even as he speculates upon it after seeing her in the woods with Westervelt. "Now, as I looked down from my 250 upper region at this man and woman," he says, "outwardly so fair a sight, and wandering like two lovers in the wood— I imagined that Zenobia, at an earlier period of youth, might have fallen into the misfortune above indicated. And when her passionate womanhood, as was inevitable, had discovered its mistake, there had ensued the character of eccentricity and defiance, which distinguished the more public portion of her life" (NHCE

III, 103).

Zenobia clearly thinks of herself as the tragic heroine walking across the stage of life to her inexorable doom. All of her dramatic moments are accompanied by movement, particularly by her walking majestically out of

Coverdale's view; she is always turning her back on him and walking away. As she bids Coverdale good-bye before their separate visits to town, she rebuffs his offer of counsel, saying, "It needs a wild steersman when we voyage through Chaos!" (NHCE III, 142) When he calls on her in town, she leaves him to find his own way out; after she has failed to persuade Hollingsworth of her innocence in

Priscilla's betrayal, she turns and walks into the forest.

Coverdale observes that she always needs movement: "It was one peculiarity, distinguishing Zenobia from most of her sex, that she needed for her moral well-being, and never would forego, a large amount of physical exercise.

At Blithedale, no inclemency of sky or muddiness of earth had ever impeded her daily walks" (NHCE III, 156). He likewise says that "the world never criticised [Zenobia] so harshly as it does most women who transcend its rules.

It almost yielded its assent, when it beheld her stepping out of the common path, and asserting the more extensive privileges of her sex, both theoretically and by her practice. The sphere of ordinary womanhood was felt to be narrower than her development required" (NHCE III, 190).

When Zenobia defends her actions toward Priscilla, she tells Hollingsworth, "The whole universe, her sex and yours, and Providence, or Destiny, to boot, make common cause against the woman who swerves one hair's breadth out of the beaten track. Yes; and add, (for I may as well own it, now,) that, with one hair’s breadth, she goes all astray, and never sees the world in its true aspect, afterwards!" (NHCE III, 224)

Although we do not see her final act, after she has walked regally into the woods following her confrontation with Priscilla and Hollingsworth, Coverdale tells us that the place where she drowned herself looked as if she had just walked— and not jumped— from the bank right into the current, losing first one shoe and then the other in the mud. Zenobia's decision to step off the path proves to be a fatal one.

Zenobia's tragic despair at the life she has chosen for herself corresponds to that of the lady in "The Hollow of the Three Hills," who also left the more conventional interests of home and family to pursue a different course.

Likewise, Zenobia seems to have foregone this opportunity to pursue her public life. When her love for

Hollingsworth goes unrequited, she rejects her life entirely, as does the lady in the Hollow. Zenobia is also reminiscent of Catharine, the Quaker outcast in "The

Gentle Boy," in her strident commitment to taking the road less traveled, in her melodramatic commitment to her cause, and in her renouncing (however unwittingly) the more pressing claims of family. Just as Catharine forsakes Ilbrahim to pursue her vision, Zenobia abandons

Priscilla to Westervelt, with at least the secondary intention of pursuing Hollingsworth, and this choice proves to be her undoing.

Priscilla, on the other hand, walks out of the pathless wilderness and into the community at Blithedale.

Prior to her appearance, both Coverdale and Zenobia have identified her as "one of the world's wayfarers" (NHCE

III, 25). We are told that she has been "heretofore accustomed to the narrowness of human limits, with the lamps of neighboring tenements glimmering across the street" (NHCE III, 36). Her new life at Blithedale and the connections she develops with this generally lively group of people improve her health and her attitude.

Zenobia observes of her, "As we strolled the woods 253

together, I could hardly keep her from scrambling up the trees like a squirrel! She has never before known what it

is to live in the free air, and so it intoxicates her as if she were sipping wine" (NHCE III, 59). Her

responsiveness to others, as well as her willingness to let others, particularly Hollingsworth, be themselves in her presence, distinguishes her from Zenobia and fate her to be the heroine of the story; these qualities at least prepare us for her unmasking as the Veiled Lady. While the possibility remains that Hollingsworth has chosen her over Zenobia because she has inherited Old Moodie's fortune, it is equally possible that Priscilla's vulnerability and dependence make her more appealing.

Priscilla is derived from Hawthorne's many young girls. Like Ellen Langton in Fanshawe, she is pretty, sensitive to public opinion, and helpless in the face of active malevolence. She is also of a pleasing and gentle disposition and, like Ellen, can influence her suitor

Hollingsworth to take a more pleasant path in his relationships with others. Her wraithlike qualities and

f the effect she has on Hollingsworth are reminiscent of the spirit of Mary Goffe, who haunts Richard Digby in "The Man of Adamant." She is likewise similar to Lilias Fay in

"The Lily's Quest." Like Pearl in The Scarlet Letter, she is something of a "messenger of anguish" for Zenobia, and we discover that Old Moodie clearly considers Zenobia's 254 behavior toward her a test of worthiness to inherit his fortune.

Hollingsworth has an interesting place in Hawthorne's parade of characters. Hardly a deliberate villain like

Chillingworth, Jaffrey Pyncheon, or the ubiquitous Model of The Marble Faun, his effect on both Coverdale and

Zenobia is distinctly negative. He initially approaches

Coverdale with a sense of close friendship and confidence but later turns on him when Coverdale fails to support his plan to make Blithedale a reformatory for ex-convicts.

Though Coverdale does not specifically acknowledge

Hollingsworth's rejection, it seems to be a contributing cause for Coverdale's further withdrawal from the community at Blithedale. "It still impresses me as almost a matter of regret," he says, "that I did not die, then, when I had tolerably made up my mind to it; for

Hollingsworth would have gone with me to the hither verge of life, and have sent his friendly and hopeful accents far over on the other side, while I should be treading the unknown path" (NHCE III, 42). By the time their story has worked itself to a close, Coverdale can "see in

Hollingsworth an exemplification of the most awful truth in Bunyan's book of such;— from the very gate of Heaven, there is a by-way to the pit!" (NHCE III, 243)

Hollingsworth's effect on Zenobia is equally destructive. She makes a fool of herself on his account, 255 particularly in her pronouncements about women and their role in society; on several occasions, she promotes a passive, "womanly" attitude toward life— an attitude that contradicts her own actions— solely for the purpose of ingratiating herself to him. For whatever reason,

Hollingsworth remains unmoved by her affection for him, and he is finally angered beyond forgiveness xvhen she tries to remove Priscilla from his sphere of influence.

He stands as an ironic counterpart to Bunyan's Great-Heart in the second part of The Pilgrim's Progress; while David

Smith maintains that Hollingsworth serves as Priscilla's guide back to the comforts of the community, he plays the more important role of spoiler to Coverdale's and

Zenobia's attempts to participate in that life. He is reminiscent of Hawthorne's Richard Digby, "The Man of

Adamant," whose inability to forgive the frailties of the community leads to his own demise. He also resembles

Ethan Brand in this respect as well as in his egotistical belief that his own goals are the only ones worth pursuing.

Old Moodie is another odd traveler on this strange pilgrimage. Coverdale finally realizes that he is the keeper of the riddle to Zenobia's and Priscilla's lives; previously, Coverdale seems to have thought of Moodie as much like himself, an observer who was merely interested in the lives of these two very different women. Like so many of Hawthorne's creations, Moodie is characterized by his walk. He once "creeps" out to Blithedale "only to ask about Priscilla," and after he is satisfied he "creep[s] back to town again" (NHCE III, 85). On another occasion, as Hollingsworth prepares to accompany him, Moodie keeps

"a step or two behind Hollingsworth, so that the latter could not very conveniently look him in the face" (NHCE

III, 87). When, on one occasion, he observes Zenobia reject Priscilla's demonstration of affection, he turns back to town shaking his head. "Again, and again,"

Coverdale says, "I saw him shake it, as he withdrew along the road— and, at the last point whence the farm-house was visible, he turned, and shook his uplifted staff" (NHCE

III, 88). After this episode, Moodie disinherits Zenobia and bequeathes his fortune to Priscilla.

Moodie has many of the same characteristics as

Wakefield, the man who leaves his wife and observes her from a block away for twenty years before he returns home.

Both men have lives they leave behind, and both of them maintain an interest in their relatives, whom they watch from afar. Both also seem to experiment with their kin; in Moodie's case, the experiment has more drastic results on his daughter than it does on himself. Moodie, in his earlier life as Fauntleroy, reminds one of Clifford

Pyncheon, the aesthete whose life was wasted in prison as punishment for a crime he did not commit. Both characters 257

are hollow shadows of what they once were, and both maintain what frail hold they have on humanity through

their vicarious interest in others.

The irony in The Blithedale Romance stems in part

from the fact that a group of people trying to build a

Utopian community struggle to withdraw themselves from the common path and the community. While Hollingsworth and

Priscilla may eventually have recognized what they have done to Zenobia and Coverdale, Coverdale himself never changes, nor does his final picture of them. The major characters of the story remain isolated, both subjects and victims as a result of their inordinate preoccupation with themselves.

IV The Marble Faun

F. 0. Matthiessen points out that The Marble Faun is based on "a conception of man as being radically imperfect, destined to struggle through a long labyrinth of error, and to suffer harsh and cruel shocks. The contrast with the one-way optimism of most of Hawthorne's 33 contemporaries could hardly be more striking." The image of the labyrinth is certainly an important one because it frames the romance. It is in the labyrinthine catacombs that the complications to the story first arise.

They reach a climax after a serpentine midnight walk

33 Matthiessen, p. 312. 258 around Rome/ and they conclude in the maze of people milling about at Carnival.

Several critics have alluded to the use of the journey motif in The Marble Faun. R. H. Fossum points out that the chapter called "Subterranean Reminiscences," clearly a "venture into the psychic underground," is also 34 a "necessary step toward unifying the self." Daniel

Marder says that the action of The Marble Faun ends

"appropriately in a Carnival," remarking that the parade of humanity is central to this and every Hawthorne romance; it is "symbolized by the various scaffold scenes in The Scarlet Letter, particularly the last; by the throng outside Clifford Pyncheon's window; and the city 35 scenes Coverdale observes from the window."

The journey in The Marble Faun also provides a means of character development. R. H. Fossum says that

Donatello's journey to Rome is a "movement out of a pre- historical into a historical condition; his return to

Monte Beni after the crime is a futile attempt to reclaim his lost innocence."3® Likewise is Hilda's removal from the action during the Carnival a symbol both of her refusal to understand the duality of human nature and of

34 Fossum, p. 158.

35. Marder, p. 68.

■3 £ Fossum, pp. 159-160. 259 her unwillingness to lose her innocence.

The structure and characterization of The Marble Faun owe much to Hawthorne's earlier work. While Kenyon is obviously a metamorphosis of the observer, "Paul Pry," he also involves himself with the people around him. In this

respect he differs from Miles Coverdale and resembles

Holgrave. Often joining in the walks of the other characters, Kenyon is generally aware of what is going on.

He does not try to insinuate himself into business other than his own, so he does not pry into Miriam's life as

Coverdale constantly pries into Zenobia's. Nevertheless, he can wisely advise Donatello and Miriam even while he is not privy to the details of their situation. He goes to

Monte Beni to visit Donatello after Miriam's Model is murdered. Kenyon is the reader's access to the personalities of the principal characters. He is the narrator's device to make the story "flow onward, like a streamlet, past a gray tower that rises on the hill-side, overlooking a spacious valley, which is set in the grand frame-work of the Apennines" (NHCE IV, 213).

Unlike Donatello, Kenyon does realize that all men have faults, some even more grievous secrets they wish to hide from public scrutiny. He encourages Donatello to accompany him back to Rome, setting forth with him "on horseback," to travel "under the moon, and in the cool of the morning or evening twilight" (NHCE IV, 289). As 260

Kenyon suspects it will, the journey eases Donatello's

spirits somewhat.

Kenyon's many observations as he walks about the city

increase his understanding of his friends' situation, even

though he is not aware of their crime. While walking in

the Corso, he observes a penitent he suspects is

Donatello, and in his restless concern for his friend, he

goes to visit Hilda and discovers she is missing. He

combs the city for her and eventually travels out to the

country, where he meets with Donatello and Miriam to find

out what they know. They likewise seek advice from him, hoping that he can help them to understand why they are happy to be together in spite of their crime. He warns them that as long as they "live not for [happiness]— so

that it be a wayside flower, springing along a path that

leads to higher ends— it will be Heaven's gracious gift, and a token that it recognizes [their] union here below"

(NHCE IV, 322).

In the chapter titled "A Walk on the Campagna,"

Kenyon observes the denouement of his friends' story. As he walks on this day, he recognizes that "in this natural

intercourse with a rude and healthy form of animal life, there was something that wonderfully revived [his]

spirits" (NHCE IV, 421). He meets again with Miriam and

Donatello, who give him more news of the missing Hilda.

On their direction, he goes to the Carnival, where he 261 finds the merrymaking so like a feverish dream that Kenyon resigned himself to let it take its course. Fortunately,

the humours of the Carnival pass from one

absurdity to another, without lingering long

enough on any to wear out even the slightest of

them. The passiveness of his demeanour afforded

too little scope for such broad merriment as the

masqueraders sought. In a few moments, they

vanished from him, as dreams and spectres do,

leaving him at liberty to pursue his quest, with

no impediment except the crowd that blocked up

the footway.

He had not gone far, when the Peasant and the

Contadina met him. They were still hand in

hand, and appeared to be straying through the

grotesque and animated scene, taking as little

part in it as himself (NHCE IV, 446-447).

Kenyon recognizes the correspondences between himself and the two lovers; because he accepts them in spite of their guilt and continues to be their friend, he can offer his assistance when it is needed, helping to bring about their understanding of what they have done. His ability to forgive— and remember— affords us access to the story, as we discover that he has told the story to the narrator.

In some respects a new creation, Kenyon is at the same time derived from Hawthorne's many first-person narrators. A meticulous observer of all that is readily available to him, he learns about the darker aspects of

Miriam's and Donatello's lives only directly from them.

(It is not until after the crime has been solved and

Donatello is in prison that Kenyon learns from Hilda exactly what she saw.) Kenyon has a highly developed moral code, yet he never imposes it on his friends or on the reader. He reminds us of Holgrave in his reserve coupled with his desire to offer assistance when it is necessary. A transformation of the "wise companion" of

Hawthorne's sources, Kenyon is everything that Hawthorne could have hoped to develop as an effective narrative device.

Donatello is singled out for exceptional scrutiny from very early in the romance. He is compared to the

Faun of Praxitales admired by the four principal characters as the story begins; this description could as easily be of Donatello himself (NHCE IV, 9). Donatello quickly associates himself with Miriam; he is seldom seen without her, causing her to complain to Kenyon that

Donatello should not "haunt [her] footsteps so continually" (NHCE IV, 18). Nevertheless, they often go for walks together.in town and in the woods outside the city. In the chapter titled "The Sylvan Dance," Donatello persuades Miriam to walk with him through "that sweet wilderness," where she "felt more and more the influence 263 of his elastic temperament" (NHCE IV, 83). They join a band of rustics who, "as the music came fresher on their ears, . . . danced to its cadence, extemporizing new steps and attitudes" (NHCE IV, 85).

Miriam constantly warns that Donatello should not follow her, but he refuses to listen. "Not follow you!" he exclaims. "Not follow you! What other path have I?"

(NHCE IV, 91) When they first join their friends for the midnight walk that seals their fate, Miriam warns him to

"take care that no friskiness comes over [him]. [He] must walk evenly and heavily," (NHCE IV, 143), an uncharacteristic pace for the young Italian.

After the death of Miriam's Model, however, a transformation takes place in Donatello, particularly evident in his walk, which becomes "stately" (NHCE IV,

176). Even the time Donatello spends at Monte Beni, when

Miriam is supposed to be in Rome, resounds with her influence; his "very gait showed in it, in a certain gravity, a weight and measure of step, that had nothing in common with the irregular buoyancy which used to distinguish him" (NHCE IV, 217). Observing the change in his friend, Kenyon decides "to persuade Donatello,to be

[his] companion in a ramble among these hills and valleys.

The little adventures and vicissitudes of travel will do

[Donatello] infinite good. After his recent profound experience, he will re-create the world by the new eyes 264 with which he will regard it. He will escape . . . out of a morbid life, and find his way into a healthy one" (NHCE

IV, 284).

Their journey back to Rome is told in the chapter titled "Scenes by the Way." The travelers set forth on horseback, passing "great black Crosses, hung with all the instruments of the sacred agony and passion. . . .

Beholding these consecrated stations, the idea seemed to strike Donatello of converting the otherwise aimless journey into a penitential pilgrimage" (NHCE IV, 296).

After he returns to Rome, Donatello continues his pilgrimage in the garb of a penitent walking around the city at the start of Carnival. Miriam later tells Kenyon that Donatello "has travelled in a circle, as all things heavenly and earthly do, and now comes back to his original self, with an inestimable treasure of improvement won from an experience of pain" (NHCE IV, 434). We last see Donatello walking with Miriam in "A Scene in the

Corso," where the two are out for the last time before

Donatello confesses to his crime. After this, Donatello will take the responsibility for his "entrance into history" by going to prison. ,,,

Donatello is reminiscent of Annie in "Little Annie's

Ramble" in the "lightening" effect he has on his friends, and of Pearl, in the instruction he affords Miriam before he commits his crime. But he is of course more obviously derived from all the innocents, including Young Goodman

Brown, Robin Molineux, and Arthur Dimmesdale, who must deal with how their contact with evil affects their relationship with the world. Donatello is also like the sculptor, Herkimer, in "The Bosom Serpent," who can be brought out of the morbid contemplation of his own sinfulness only in the contemplation of another's love fo him.

Miriam is linked closely to Donatello. Although she is the one character who posesses a nearly complete understanding of the pervasive evil surrounding her, like

Donatello, she needs to learn that she is tied to all of the good people around her as well. At first she thinks of her life as a walking nightmare. She tells Donatello,

"If you were wiser, you would think me a dangerous person

. . . -If you follow my footsteps, they will lead you to no good. You ought to be afraid of me" (NHCE IV, 80).

Calling her life a "dark dream," she wonders if it is "of such solid, stony substance, that there can be no escape out of its dungeon?" But she recognizes there is enough innocence in her to'make her "as gay as Donatello himself

-for this one hour!" (NHCE IV, 82) She joins him,for a walk through "that sweet wilderness," where she feels

"more and more the influence of his elastic temperament"

(NHCE IV, 83).

Miriam's reverie is short-lived, however, for her Model spies them in the woods and disrupts their sport.

She tries to reason'with him to leave her alone, remarking of an earlier meeting between the two in the catacombs:

"Oh," she says, "that we could have wandered in

those dismal passages till we both perished,

taking opposite paths, in the darkness, so that,

when we lay down to die, our last breaths might

not mingle I"

"It were vain to wish it," said the Model.

"In all that labyrinth of midnight paths, we

should have found one another out, to live and

die together" (NHCE IV, 95).

Miriam's predicament goads her into a "weary restlessness, that [drives] her abroad on any errand or none" (NHCE IV, 113). Like earlier characters, how and where she walks demonstrate her attitude. Even after her crime, her state of mind is characterized by her "stately gait and aspect."

Miriam's relationship with the Model and her part in his murder give her a new insight into the relationship between good and evil, which she expresses to Kenyon the next day as they study Guido Reni's picture of the victorious St. Michael.

"That Archangel, now!" she says. "How fair he

looks, with his unruffled wings, with his

unhacked sword, and clad in his bright armour, 267

and that exquisitely fitting sky blue tunic, cut

in the latest Paradisaical mode. . . . But is

it thus that Virtue looks, the moment after its

death-struggle with Evil? No, no! . . . He

should press his foot hard down upon the old

Serpent, as if his very soul depended upon it,

feeling him squirm mightily, and doubting

whether the fight were half over yet, and how

the victory might turn! .... But the battle

never was such child's play as Guido's dapper

Archangel seems to have found it!" (NHCE IV,


The gracefulness lent by Miriam's passion soon wears off, leaving her "astray in the world; and having no special reason to seek one place more than another, she suffer[s] chance to direct her steps as it w[ill]" (NHCE IV, 202).

She questions her growing dependence on Donatello, remorsefully wondering if "the misery, already accruing from her influence, should not warn her to withdraw from his path" (NHCE IV, 320).

Miriam's description of herself to Kenyon and

Donatello reveals that she is descended "from English parentage, on her mother's side, but with a vein, likewise, of Jewish blood" and thus connected to the legendary Wandering Jew (NHCE IV, 429). Miriam, however, has learned to treasure the relationships she shares with 268 others. It strikes Kenyon that Miriam, "like Donatello,

[has] reached a wayside Paradise, in their mysterious life-journey, where they both [may throw] down their burthen of the Before and After, and, except, for this interview with himself, [be] happy in the flitting moment

. . . [since] tomorrow . . . they would set forth towards an inevitable goal" (NHCE IV, 435).

Miriam shares the characteristics of several of

Hawthorne's earlier, isolated heroines. Like the Lady in

"The Hollow of the Three Hills" and Prudence in "John

Inglefield's Thanksgiving," Miriam's desperate isolation affects her relationships with others. She is most desperate about the grief she has brought into Donatello's life. Like Catharine in "The Gentle Boy," she takes an almost perverse pleasure in her troubles, although unlike

Catharine she learns that she can choose whether or not she suffers. Both she and Reuben Bourne carry their secrets for a long time, and both find comfort and reconciliation in the telling. Unlike the Wandering Jew in "The Virtuoso's Collection," she learns the saving value of human relationships, a lesson she treasures by the end of the romance. ,■

Hilda may be contrasted with the other central characters in the story. Like Kenyon, she is an intimate observer of Miriam and Donatello and often walks with the general procession of characters. She differs from Kenyon 269

in her understanding and in her acceptance of human nature. In this respect, she resembles Donatello since both are innocent of the world of evil. But she differs

from him in her unwillingness to be transformed by the knowledge of evil she acquires. Finally, as the other woman in the story, she invites comparison with Miriam, who, through her suffering and her observation of the

suffering of others, learns that we cannot escape the

responsibilities flowing from commitments to others.

Hilda is always in motion, going very busily about her work. She walks daily to the museums to copy the Old

Masters, and she often takes long walks with Kenyon,

Miriam, or their other expatriate friends. She would, the narrator tells us, "go forth on her pictorial pilgrimage without dread of peril" (NHCE IV, 327). She witnesses the

Model's murder as she walks back to find Miriam at the

Tarpeian Rock. Afterward, she attempts to forget what she knows by walking through the museums and around the city, a quest that symbolizes her state of mind and its process of trying to forget her memory of the crime. She learns that she can "not escape from it. In the effort to do so, straying farther into the intricate passages of our nature, she stumbles, ever and again, over this deadly idea of mortal guilt" (NHCE IV, 329-330). Still, Hilda descends "day by day, from her dove-cote, and [goes] to one or another of the great, old palaces . . . where the door-keepers knew her well, and offered her a kindly greeting. But they shook their heads and sighed, on observing the languid step with which the poor girl toiled up the grand marble staircases" (NHCE IV, 333). She

"wanders" through "those long galleries, and over the mosaic pavements of vast solitary saloons, wondering what had become of the splendour that used to beam upon her from the walls" (NHCE IV, 341). And "for the first time in her lengthened absence, comprising so many years of her young life, she began to be acquainted with the exile's pain" (NHCE IV, 342). Her exile is actually from the world of knowledge and responsibility she has so recently discovered, and it is a self-imposed exile that we are not to condone.

Hilda refuses to have anything to do with Miriam after the Model is killed, but she does agree to deliver some documents; after this errand, she disappears. Her captivity prevents her from witnessing the conclusion of the intrigue surrounding Miriam and Donatello and perhaps coming to understand how both good and evil are inextricably connected in the lives of all men and women.

Kenyon tries to help her understand all that has happened as they walk through the streets of Rome, but she never acquires the understanding of human nature and its capacity to embody both good and evil that Miriam and

Donatello do. 271

Hilda resists several opportunities to learn this lesson— first when she witnesses the murder and later when

Miriam comes to see her to find out what she knows. When she repudiates Miriam for her role in the Model's death,

Miriam tells her that she is "merciless; for I had a perception of it, even while you loved me best. You have no sin, nor any conception of what it is; and therefore you are so terribly severe! As an angel, you are not amiss; but, as a human creature, and a woman among earthly men and women, you need a sin to soften you!" (NHCE IV,

209) Only symbolically, in her imminent marriage to

Kenyon, will Hilda have access to the knowledge she never gains.

Hilda is derived in part from Ellen Langton of

Fanshawe, Dorothy Pearson of "The Gentle Boy," the innocent Annie of "Little Annie's Ramble," the so-called wood nymph of "The Vision of the Fountain," and all the girls of the longer romances, Pearl, Phoebe, and

Priscilla. All of these young girls share an innocence that in Hawthorne's stories thus far has been a hallmark of goodness. Like Robin in "My Kinsman, Major Molineux,"

Hilda's innocence is tested with the knowledge that evil and good are everywhere intermixed. As does Arthur

Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter, Hilda resists the knowledge that all men and women are both good and bad, but unlike Dimmesdale, she has no fault in her own life to 272 reconcile her to what she has learned. She must work with second-hand knowledge, and she cannot.

The Model in The Marble Faun continually sounds the voice of despair. "The Spectre of the Catacomb," as the narrator calls him, "never long allowed [Miriam] to lose sight of him. . . . He haunted her footsteps with more than the customary persistency of Italian mendicants"

(NHCE IV, 31-32). When Miriam wishes that they had never met in the Catacomb, he responds, "It were vain to wish it. . . . In all that labyrinth of midnight paths, we should have found one another out, to live and die together" (NHCE IV, 95).

After the Model is murdered, Kenyon unwittingly identifies him by his feet:

"Those naked feet!" said he. "I know not why,

but they affect me strangely. They have walked

to-and-fro over the hard pavements of Rome, and

through a hundred other rough ways of this life,

where the monk went begging for his brotherhood;

along the cloisters and dreary corridors of his

convent, too, from his youth upward! It is a

suggestive idea, to track those worn feet

backward through all the paths they have

trodden, ever since they were the tender and

rosy little feet of a baby, and (cold as they

now are) were kept warm in his mother's hand" 273

(NHCE IV, 188).

The Model is clearly reminiscent of Hawthorne's earlier villains. Like Butler, he seems almost purely evil. Like Walter Gascoigne in "The Lily's Quest," he lurks just within the view of the four companions, always the spoiler of their happiness. Like Roger Chillingworth and Jaffrey Pyncheon, he both holds and conceals hidden knowledge that he uses to control other characters. His role in The Marble Faun differs greatly from these earlier characters, however, since he is a flat character whose inner psychology is never explored. At the same time,

Hawthorne is not inordinately preoccupied with him as he is with Butler. We never even learn his name or the exact nature of his relationship to Miriam. His characterization implies that Hawthorne came to believe that the depiction of the unredeemably evil character was uninteresting and perhaps irrelevant except as he affects the lives of characters who are striving to overcome evil with good.

The narrator uses the image of "the stream of life" throughout The Marble Faun to describe the movement of the

American expatriates with whom the central characters associate. One of the most important sections of the romance begins with the chapter called "A Moonlight

Ramble," which begins the sequence ending in the Model's death. After a party, the younger expatriates decide to 274 walk through the city. The group passes through all the familiar relics of ancient Rome: the Piazza of the Holy

Apostles, Trajan's Forum, the Temple of Mars, the Via

Alessandria, the Temple of Peace, and the Colosseum. They proceed from the Colosseum to the Arch of Constantine, and the Arch of Titus. The party "[keeps] onward, often meeting pairs and groups of midnight strollers, like themselves. On such a moonlight night as this, Rome keeps itself awake and stirring, and is full of song and pastime, the noise of which mingles with your dreams, if you have gone betimes to bed." "But it is better," the narrator says, "to be abroad, and take our share of the enjoyable time; for the languor, that weighs so heavily in the Roman atmsphere, by day, is lightened beneath the moon and stars" (NHCE IV, 160). The group walks through the city, the principal characters in their midst, while

Miriam and Donatello, separated from the group, are confronted by the Model and kill him.

The narrator continually calls attention to the stream of people that move in the same tracks as Kenyon and Hilda, Donatello and Miriam. The shrines that Kenyon and Donatello pass on their return to the city remind them and all wayfarers, bent on "whatever worldly errand," that

"this is not the business which most concerns him. The pleasure-seeker is silently admonished to look heavenward for a joy infinitely greater than he now pursues. The 275 wretch in temptation beholds the cross, and is warned, that, if he yield, the Saviour's agony for his sake will have been endured in vain" (NHCE IV, 298). Finally, the narrator, observing the despondent Hilda wandering through

Rome, says that there may be "one generous motive for walking heedfully amid the defilement of earthly ways! let us reflect, that the highest path is pointed out by the pure Ideal of those who look up to us, and who, if we tread less loftily, may never look so high again!" (NHCE

IV, 329) This image of the community, prevalent throughout the first-person narratives, is developed at some length in The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven

Gables, and The Blithedale Romance.

It is important to realize that The Marble Faun represents only Hawthorne's last completed reworking of the images of the journey motif. As Janis Stout points out, Hawthorne dealt with "the American's journey to

Europe more elaborately, though by no means so satisfactorily, in the uncompleted late romances published as 'The Ancestral Footstep,' 'The Dolliver Romance,’ and 37 'Dr. Grimshaw's Secret.'"

In conclusion, while one could hardly call all, or even most, of Hawthorne's stories mere apprentice work, the short story and the sketch are forms that helped

^ Stout, p. 74. 276

Hawthorne learn how to handle a literary device that he found particularly appealing (namely, a walk) and how to balance it with an appropriate and helpful proportion of introspection in his later works. In spite of what he may have failed to do in these later novels, Hawthorne had learned, and learned well, how to create the middle ground into which his seekers might journey, and from whose bourne his travelers might return. Bibliography

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Frances Mary Murphy zauhar was born January 31, 1954,

in Newport, Rhode Island, to John Augustin Murphy and Mary

Concetta Italiano Murphy. She attended elementary and

secondary school in Newport, graduating from De La Salle

Academy in 1972. In 1976, she received the B. A. degree

in English from Seton Hill College in Greensburg,

Pennsylvania. In 1979, she received the M. A. in English

from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge; there she met her husband, David Russell Zauhar, whom she married in

1986. She is a candidate for the doctoral degree in

English at LSU, where she teaches writing and literature.


Candidate: Frances Murphy Zauhar

Major Field: E nglish

Title of Dissertation: The Image of Walking in Hawthorne's Fiction


Major Professor Professor and and CnairMajor Cnairman

M — of the Graduate ^te^phoolDean School


Date of Examination:

July 17, 1986